Tempering is a heat treatment technique applied to ferrous alloys, such as steel or cast iron, to achieve greater toughness by decreasing the hardness of the alloy. The reduction in hardness is usually accompanied by an increase in ductility, thereby decreasing the brittleness of the metal. Tempering is usually performed after quenching, which is rapid cooling of the metal to put it in its hardest state.
I’ve gone through a period of “hardening” where I have become cold to the world around me. Perhaps this is simply a part of the alchemical process I must endure. It is my wish that I become tempered in all things. Perhaps this is the next step.
I’m shutting the doors to the world. I’ve grown tired of it and of much of the people in it. I cannot help the way I feel. It just is. I can’t make myself feel love and compassion for my enemies. I can only feel nothing for them.
Tempered…I must become tempered.
Never test another man by your own weakness.― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
Life is not an easy matter…. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.― Leon Trotsky, Trotsky’s Diary In Exile, 1935
I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward― Fridtjof Nansen
The plants and flowers
I raised about my hut
I now surrender
To the will
Of the wind
To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year