PS: The ice underneath

Last time I wrote about how the idea of control simultaneously (a) plays a huge role in our lives and (b) is invisible to most of us.  Later I realized that one of my favorite metaphors perfectly captures this weird duality.   Here:  

Peary relates that on his polar trip he traveled one whole day toward the north, making his sleigh dogs run briskly.  At night he checked his bearings to determine his latitude and noticed with great surprise that he was much further south than in the morning.  He had been toiling all day toward the north on an immense iceberg drawn southwards by an ocean current.   ~ Jose Ortega y Gassett

Here’s why the idea of control fascinates me.   It’s an emotional iceberg,  constantly carrying each of us southwards — away from where we want to go or think we’re headed.  Its size and invisibility make it easy to overlook.   But ignoring it is dangerous.   Hardly matters how hard you mush towards your goal when the iceberg is moving you in the opposite direction. Conclusion:  Lost?  Stuck?  Exhausted?  Stop mushing.  Examine the ice underneath.


2 responses to “PS: The ice underneath

  • Dave Kluger

    My iceberg is melting , now what ?

  • fritzfreud

    Sounds like you’re thinking of a different metaphorical iceberg. Mine never melts, and we can never get entirely off it. The best we can do is remember it’s there and adjust for it when navigating.

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