Why I Iron

by | Jul 1, 2019

This prose was originally published in Chaleur Magazine.

I loved ironing. It was my meditation. My church. My tradition. You at a computer on the green sofa. Me with a wireless headphone. Watching CBS Sunday Morning. Dancing around the ironing board. Playing with the iron. Stroking your shirts. As if they were your body and the iron was my hand. Smoothing wrinkles. Bringing order. Pouring my love through the spitting and snorting nose of the iron. I imagined that when you wore the shirts, you would feel my love, and draw in the energy to help you through the office days, of writing depositions, arguments, and holding your own at court.

I wanted you to feel loved, worthy, dazzling, beautiful, and powerful. I hope you did.

I still love ironing. The colorful cotton Kurtas from India. The flyaway pants hand-made by Indonesian artists. The one I wear to 5Rhythms dancing. A red Peruvian T-shirt that caught my eyes at an airport from the Amazons to Cusco. With a hummingbird.

There was a long time in between that I did not iron. I chose to wear wrinkled clothes rather than touching the iron that once represented a channel of my love. I believed that the ironed shirts somehow brought you closer to the one you met at the office, the one who was not me. I worried that it made you more attractive, approachable, smooth to her seductions. I wondered if I brought this to myself. By giving so much of myself to you, I ironed a path to my own abandonment, like a giant asphalt paver.

I swore that I will never iron another shirt for a man. I declared to all my friends so. Then I stopped ironing for myself.

Years later, I am back to ironing. Not every Sunday, but some Sundays. Not every garment but some garments. While ironing, I ask for a blessing. From the fountain of love that exists, beyond the stingy steel of the iron. May I be generous enough to offer my love without wanting anything in return. May I give myself what I needed from others and gave to others. May I dance with my own sexiness. May I smooth my own wrinkles. May I feel my own dazzlingly beautiful authentic colors wherever I am. While crunching numbers at the office. While walking in the woods singing with the birds. While sitting quietly bathing in my tears. May I iron shirts for a worthy man one day. With all the love I have, even if I am afraid to lose him.

There is no such thing as “too much loving.” There is no “irresistibly perfect ironed shirt.” There is no “self-paved road to aloneness.” There is an abundant love wanting to flow. There is a channel that opens, closes, opens again.


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Artwork by Jamile Shirley

By Uranbileg batjargal

Golden Threads


Uranbileg Batjargal grew up in Mongolia, climbing barefoot on the rocky hills, gathering wild berries, conversing with small birds, and singing out loud in the open summer sky. Today, Uranbileg walks in two worlds. As an economist and a certified public accountant, she makes a living by managing budgets and leading data governance strategy. She is also a poet, an artist, a meditation teacher and a practitioner of healing arts. She completed three vision quests that changed her life and continue to guide her poetry today.

Meet The Author

Uranbileg Batjargal

Uranbileg Batjargal was born in Mongolia. It is the country of horsemen, warriors, conquerors, nomads who travel camelback, shamans who communicate with worlds and dimensions beyond the ordinary reality. As a young person, she loved climbing barefoot on the rocky hills, gathering wild berries, conversing with small birds, and singing out loud in the open summer sky.

Uranbileg left Mongolia when she was 19 to study in Japan, where she became immersed in the contemplative arts. She graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Master’s degree in Economics and moved to the United States to pursue a career at the World Bank. Along the way, she was married—and divorced. Brokenhearted, she renewed her connection to the mystical realms through meditation and other contemplative energy practices. She completed three vision quests informed by the Native American tradition of celebrating the coming of age and starting of a new life. Those vision quests changed her life inalterably and continue to guide her work today.

Today, Uranbileg walks in two worlds. As an economist, a business officer, and a certified public accountant, she makes a living by managing budgets and performance reporting and applying data governance strategy and principles. In her other world, she is a poet, a meditation teacher, and a practitioner of healing arts.

Uranbileg’s poetry is filled with rebellion against the ordinary, longing for freedom and love, and returning to roots. Uranbileg invites us to investigate what in our lives is ready to die; how we can make a companion of patience as we witness the old gradually giving way to the new; and ways we may embrace rebirth with the love and strength that all newborns need and deserve to receive.

Author Portrait

Photo by Mihoko Owada


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