Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Fourteen

Alexandra was late arriving for our usual Monday morning coffee.  She stormed into the coffee shop and slammed down the heaviest of her bags, making her less-than-hot latte shake in its tall glass tumbler.
“Some people,” she fumed. “should never have be given driving licences . . . that taxi-driver is one of them!”
If one can be said to sit down in anger, then she did.
“Morning,” I said, neutrally, looking up from rummaging in my  bag. “Pleasant weekend?” I enquired, hazardously.
“Oh stop, it,” She said; the worst was, plainly, not over. “Stop being so nice! when I’m being horrible!”
I looked at her, unable to let the humour and the timing of her mental state go to waste. “We still have fifteen minutes” I said. “And what you just said shows you are, at least, conscious of your anger . . .”
“Not doing much about it, though, am I?” she sipped her coffee, finding it nearly cold, which somehow added to her self-recrimination. “Damn it . . .” she muttered.
I smiled at her, again, and took the small thermos flask out of my bag. I watched her become distracted from her foul mood, as I unscrewed the top and let the single occupant slide out, noisily, onto my waiting saucer. That drew her attention and she noticed the changed table in front of us.
“You’re having tea!  You always have coffee!”
“I like tea, too . . .”
“And there’s an ice-cube swimming around your saucer.”
“It’s for you,” I said. “It relates to the first of the points on the enneagram, going clockwise from the Nine.”
“Station One?” she asked, becoming fascinated with what I was doing.
I took a small file, with a square cross-section, from my bag, the sort you would use to carry out a finishing job in woodworking. I began to file down the top of my cylindrical ice cube, carving a neat cross into the top of the ice.  When I had finished, it bore a passing resemblance to a bishop-piece from a set of chess players.
“A chess bishop?!” she asked, examining the solitary figure in the saucer, the giggle supplanting the fading anger.
“Not quite”, I said.” I worked out that it was the only figure I could carve, in the time available – that was close to what I wanted.”
“Not a bishop then . . .”
“No, a Queen . . . “
“Is she finished?” she asked, her eyes filling with mirth at this further Monday madness.
“Nearly,” I said, pouring the near-boiling water from the silver pot into the base of the saucer – creating a sort of moat around my primitive royal figure.  Within seconds, it began to melt . . .
She was struggling to catch the meaning. Her mouth was open, forming words to catch the concepts she was streaming.  “Ice, water, heat . . . help me!”
“The One Station,” I said, “It’s useful to have a figure, an icon, which helps us crystallise the characteristics of this aspect of all our personalities.”
She was nodding – grasping the idea, as I knew she would. “And this one is–”
“–an Ice Queen,” I said. “Pristine and perfect – or would have been if I’d had a freezer and a set of proper tools in the car.”
She looked down at the small ice queen in my saucer, now listing to starboard as the ice melted, unevenly. “And the boiling water?” she asked.
“The anger that causes so much self-destruction. But which, sadly, goes with the package of this aspect of ourselves”
She was quiet then, realising how wonderfully life had conspired to illustrate the principle, as it so often did.
She looked at her watch. “Got to go . . .”
“Yes, and the anger has gone, too”
“Yes,” she added, looking down at the saucer with a smile. “And so has the Ice Queen . . .”
Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.
All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.
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