Tuesday, July 03, 2007
guest star gets angry
Rachel drove off for the Midwest this past Saturday, leaving me sans a jogging partner and daily confidant, but with a rather large and ugly glass vase. I treasure this present. It rolls around on the back seat of my car, reminding me of where I'm going.
As I think I've mentioned before, I don't get mad very often.
On occasion I have felt an icy wall of anger come down inside me. The person against whom the icy wall descends is so painfully reprehensible to me that I literally pray that the ground opens up and swallows them whole--their cars, their bank accounts, their Bibles, their skateboards, the benches on which they happen to be sitting. Unfortunately Nostalgia has been on the other side of the wall more than once, as has my ex-husband, my father, my sister, and most recently a man I went on a date with. But the story of that "date" is not being told here, not today.
When I'm seized with this icy anger to merely gaze upon the object of my hatred is beyond my power. Details of their humanity are obliterated from my consciousness: they cease to exist as humans with whom I have any common ground. I don't wish to harm them myself, that would include acknowledging them. God, on the other hand, is allowed--no, encouraged--to let any sort of natural catastrophe or disaster overtake them. Something along the lines of Numbers 16 where "the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the whole clan of Korah and their families and all their possessions." Ananias and Saphira also come to mind.
No, I don't think I have a problem with anger.
Many of my dear friends get mad far more often than I do, and they throw things when they're mad. I recall sneaking out with a package of cherry tomatoes to the alley behind Jenny's house and watching with bewilderment as she hurled the tomatoes at the garage door. She wanted to throw eggs, but had none. Other friends have tossed whole sets of china down stairwells, heaved carefully stacked piles of research papers across the room, dropped full bags of groceries off the balcony. I admire their artfulness, the passion of their protests, but never felt anything akin to it myself.
Lately I've found myself angry more often. And not at anyone particular, not even at God (a usual target), but at at small bits of life gone awry, the insensitive remark of an acquaintance, dreams that seem still too far from coming true. I threw my hair clip (yes, I know this is lame) with all the strength I could muster across my living room last week. It cheerily bounced off the venetian blinds and onto the floor, sadly causing no damage. When I told Rachel about the hair clip incident and she offered me the vase--a present that she's not had the heart to dispose of.
Today at work I was filled with a surge of anger over a rather insignificant oversight of one of my friends. I added it up with a few other like incidents and reached for my mostly-empty water bottle and pitched it with all my strength across the room. My office is cavernously large, so by the time it hit the bookshelf it made a unsatisfactory little "plink" and fell to the carpeted floor. I picked it up and threw it at the door. It made a louder noise. I walked over to a pile of boxes and books and started throwing it at them with all my might. That dumb water bottle would not break.
But I have a vase that's waiting for a good throw.