I wake up angry.
And I’m angry about it.
I’m angry that Lyla’s making us do two whole chapters at a time, and I know I’ll have to go through this book again and take my time, and I’m afraid won’t.
I’m angry that I can’t answer even one childhood question–the ones Julia says will help us restore the persons we’ve abandoned. Like the question about a favorite toy. I don’t know. Although I do have a picture of me with an old Brownie camera and a fishing pole.
I’m angry because that makes me wonder if I had a real childhood or if I was too responsible even back then. The questions make me remember things like sprinkling and rolling and refrigerating my dad’s white shirts–the ones he wore while bartending (his second job)–then pulling them out to iron on a summer morning while my parents worked and I babysat my pesky brother who had probably crawled out the window and was hiding behind the cabins or the outhouse.
I’m angry because I haven’t
been able to kept up with my morning pages, and when I finally sit down to write this morning after I take Grace to school, I keep dozing off. Could that have anything to do with the fact that I had nightmarish dreams last night and my husband woke me up at one point after hearing me repeat some word over and over (it was “Jesus, Jesus” in my dream–and one of those times when you’re trying so hard to squeeze words out of uncooperative vocal cords) and the I let out a “high-pitched scream.” He said I sounded like a child. Hmmmm.
And by the way, I use an 8-1/2 by 11 spiral notebook with college-ruled pages. Maybe I should switch to wide-ruled. Or altogether blank.
I’m angry because I look around and see so much that needs to be done. And people need me.
And all. I want. To do. Is write.
Finally I kick off my Keens.
Yes, kick. And they land in the midst of the unpacked.
I yank on sensible socks and tie up tennies and grab my camera and drive three miles (only three!) to a little spot where I’ve wanted to linger for years.
Why haven’t I done that?
And I remember how my mom said she liked when I got mad at my high school boyfriend because I crocheted much faster on the afghan I was making for her.
Julia has some things to say about anger.
Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a map. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we’ve been and lets us know when we haven’t liked it. Anger points the way, not just the finger. In the recovery of a blocked artist, anger is a sign of health. ~page 62
I must be pretty healthy.
She goes on to say:
When we feel anger, we are often very angry that we feel anger. Damn anger!! It tells us that we can’t get away with our old life any longer. It tells us that old life is dying. It tells us we are being reborn, and birthing hurts. The hurt makes us angry.
Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life. Anger is the fuel that propels us into our new one. Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly, anger is use-full.
Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend . . . It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests. Anger is not the action itself. It is action’s invitation. ~page 62
I hang out for an hour, only coming home because I have to go to the bathroom. The anger has fizzled with the river’s flow–for now.
We’re working on weeks 2 and 3 — “Recovering a Sense of Identity” and “Recovering a Sense of Power.” Come join the discussion over at Tweetspeak Poetry as Lyla continues to lead the charge through The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.