Koan: put out the fire across the river.
Here is my experience with working with this Koan for the past several weeks, and my exploration of the deconstruction of this Koan. At first glance this felt like a very simple and obvious koan, and I immediately related to it in two strong yet opposing ways.
On the one hand, the fire represented passion and life force to me, so why would I want to put it out? On the other hand, with all of the fires we have recently experienced in Sonoma County, my mind tried to devise all sorts of solutions to putting out a fire that was hard to access.
Then I started working with the strong imagery in the koan – fire! river! – and all of the associations we have with fire: good, bad, destructive, creative, transformative, water (clearly a life force), emotions, cleansing. Where did these images and perceptions show up in my life? There is so much here to work with. I found myself going deeper and deeper into my own psyche to find out what would burn inside of me, to find what parts of me still would not catch fire.
mage – print Why is My Head on Fire? © Louise Bourgeois