A conference like the one I went to at Rothenburg in Germany last week, with its 1000 participants, makes special demands upon my Small Intestine. The little mediaeval town is overrun with acupuncturists, making it extremely likely that the person you pass in the street will be a fellow acupuncturist. This presents a particular challenge for anybody who is Inner Fire, like me, for every contact with another person, however fleeting, offers the potential for a tiny relationship to be formed. Each person I passed in the Rothenburg streets therefore placed a slight strain on my Small Intestine as it asked itself how wide it wanted to open the doors to my Heart, or whether it was wiser simply to look away and not engage.
These constant challenges to my Small Intestine meant that it could never really relax, for if it does so it would feel that it is abdicating its responsibility to protect the Heart. Luckily, the meetings with good friends of mine who were also there helped to lighten the load. When I was with them, all was well, my Heart beamed with joy and my Small Intestine could at last relax. But never entirely, however, for it is such a necessarily restless aspect of Fire, and always has to be on the go, sifting and sorting, sifting and sorting.
In an idle moment I sometimes wish I were another element! And if I had a choice as to which one, I think it would have to be Metal, so quiet and self-contained, so able to cut itself off from people without a second thought. It would have no such problems as I have in deciding who to smile at and who to ignore. But then I know that it, too, will of course have its own different, but less people-centred stresses.