p: wrath and war
Etymology: The origin of this symbol and spectrum
The “p” of fury and anger came first. I am in chronic pain, and I get upset at my body’s constant betrayals. But I WANT to hike that trail—but my leg simply won’t stay under me. I did not want a separate letter for pain, as to do that would acknowledge how much pain there is in my life. Further, I see these symbols as ways to perceive the world, and pain to me is something to perceive, not to perceive with—one looks at an apple, but one does not use an apple to see better.
Orthography: How to remember these symbols
The “p” of peace to me represents a person’s head with arms outstretched to welcome in goodness, to be open.
The “p” of anger and frustration seems to me to be a person’s head with arms out at the side, ready to double up fists and deliver a swift upper cut.
Philosophy: How I use these symbols to embrace life
I trace this symbol for “p” for peace, welcoming in new experiences, trying to form open communities. I trace the arrows to the head, thinking about what is calming, what is loving, what I want in my own head.
I see the “p” for anger as something closed, unwilling to see the other person’s point of view. So, when I am feeling angry, I circle the head over and over again, asking what I am being closed off about, what I do not want to see.