There are times in life when, despite not wanting to and despite having done this several times before we are forced to go ‘panning.’ What I mean by ‘panning’ is that we are forced to do some separating, some sifting of sand and salt to find the gold.
When there is a need to go ‘panning ‘it’s because there’s some form of irritation in your life, something gritty, rubs incessantly; just like that bit of sand between your flip-flop or in your food that you know is there due to its persistent chafing, but you just cant seem to get it out. It’s persists, causing minuscule scratches and eventually we find we have a raw and painful sore.
Or else ‘salt’ is present. That flavour, that taste in your relationship or friendship that gets a bit too much at times (there’s a reason we only use ‘a pinch’ of salt) and when it does it makes you wince. You jolt at the bitter piquancy and your mouth and eyes pucker at the brackish, acrid tang that is left.
Prospecting, or the process of panning – shifting sand and salt from your life takes time. It’s an age-old technique that doesn’t need any fancy equipment, but it does require focus and patience.
To pan, to sift the sand and salt successfully so they’re discarded and instead discover nuggets of gold, is a task requiring concentration. You have to sit, and sift and sift and sift again. You may not discover a gold nugget each time you sift, but each time you sift you DO eliminated more sand and more salt. What’s in your pan becomes finer, less rugged and against this finer, softer, less abrasive background it is far easier to see the gleaming gold when it finally lands in your pan as you sift just ‘one last time.’ And it WILL land.
In the right place…just the right dose…at just the right time
You see just the right amount of salt the ‘pinch’ I mentioned earlier, enhances the flavour of your food, just as a bit of ‘salt’ from that well-meaning, but perhaps rather terse or abrasive friend can provide just the right amount of pique, to spur you into taking action on your Sh*%t. The stuff you know you need to deal with but are avoiding. Similarly, that grain of sand; the minor irritation that gets under your skin, is a sign you have an issue you perhaps need to look at.
When that friend or relative is persistently and excessively ‘salty’ you’ll get sick, if that grain of sand, that irritation rubs and chafes for too long, you’ll end up nursing an open wound.
But…I have aching arms
Oftentimes, we feel we have done all the sifting we need to do. We mistakenly believe that we have ‘finished’ with the need to discern and eliminate in our lives. Though these instances become less so, over time, my life experiences have made caused me to realise that sifting sand and salt doesn’t really end.
When it becomes clear that, yet again we need to do yet another round of filtering we are surprised and disappointed in ourselves.
‘But what to do when your arms are tired?
When your arms are tired, simply lay the pan down. But NOT you understand in the flowing river otherwise you’ll lose your pan altogether.
Lay it to rest on the bank…
Those salty tongues will still be wagging, those sandy irritants will still be chafing, but from the vantage point of ‘distance’ from your pan, you can often sort the more subtly, deeply hidden granules that you didn’t realise were an irritation in the first place!
When your energy is replenished, pick up your pan and continue the task of refining the content of your life so it is smooth and uniform and soft. Free of salty critiques and sandy irritants.
Hitting pay dirt
To hit pay dirt means:
- to discover something of value. (Alludes to discovering valuable ore.)
- Fig.to get great riches
It seems I have been panning – sifting sand and salt for some months. Many times my arms got tired and I had to lay my pan down. Each time I picked it up again I had a better perspective and could see more clearly the nuggets rising to the surface. But the true ‘gold’ came the moment I ‘hit pay dirt.’
All that sifting and filtering, laying down of my pan and picking it up again meant I had moments to see beyond the pan, moments when in my mind’s eye I would just catch something gleaming, I could see beyond the proverbial ‘trees’ and could see the wood. Continue reading Panning – Sifting Sand & Salt