"Anger gives its possessor control" Blanche Howard.
Like a virus to be avoided at all costs - one sneeze of it would bring the destruction of plague-like proportions down on the carefully engineered lives we lived.
Of course, anger as a force of life still snuck in. Cloaked in sighs and eye rolls, snide comments and meanesses suffixed by "Can't you take a joke, jeez." Anger smirked its way into our house poking shards in the tenderest of places which although painful their unseeness meant that the signals were confused.
"No. I am not angry." said through pursed lips and hunched shoulders gave me the impression of anger and the gut response to it but the message that, yet again, in yet another way i was wrong.
Lately i have been doing a lot, A LOT, of shadow work. Anger is of course the Dowager Aunt of the Shadow realm, imperious, controlling, she raps her cane and demands attention as soon as the door is open,.
I have been edging my way nearer to her. Learning her ways. Learning the manners i need to use with her in order to have her on my side instead of using her cane to dismissively trip me up.
She is hard but fair.
That she is fair is something i never knew about anger. I thought anger = evil. I thought anger made me bad and unworthy, even without acting on it, just entertaining and angry thought immediately made me a bad person.
Just how it came about that my lineage believed that i don't know. A confluence of protestant ethics, deprivation, a culture of self abnegation, martyrdom and clench-bummed bitterness. But it is cell deep in me to run away from anger.
Over the last week i have been dancing with anger and one of the side effects of our societies' strictures against anger.
I have a loyalty and deep love for my country that has lead me to extol her virtues and few of her faults. This week the National Government (for whom i am in no way responsible for) voted to allow drilling for oil and gas in the marine sanctuary for Maui's dolphins. There are 55 of these beautiful small cetaceans left on this planet and under my watch, via this right-wing smiling assassin government, we are writing a death warrant, an extinction policy for them.
I feel angry about this.
I took the step of posting about this on my facebook page. I felt disloyal to my country. But i realised it was loyalty to my country - to Aotearoa and not the current government - that made me speak up. And anger gave me the power.
My friend Juanita commented and said she wanted to rant and swear about this situation and she felt like she shouldn't.
I realised the only sane response to this kind of idiocy by the Government was to swear and rant.
We emailed two MPs from our local constituency. One a conservative and one a hot head. Guess who replied with a plan of action? The hot head. His anger, which is often denigrated as extremism, was alive to the injustice. Days later and still no word from Mr Conservative. The situation obviously doesn't register as important for him. I find it hard to see how you can get yourself into a situation in your life where you can be numb to something like this.
Then i had another discussion with Gwen and Sandra about intentional blindness and numbing and the use of overwhelm as a smokescreen. How would a loving mother like force tend to the woundedness and the threat to her beloved. She would rise up of course.
And as the stewards of this planet, in our role as loving guardians we are required to rise up.
I heard Russell Brand the other day talking about how they want us to think about things like Kim and Kanye and what happened in that lift rather than what is happening in Fukushima and with the Maui's dolphins. OK those are my examples but what he was saying is that our collective obsession with celebrity is part of the force of our numbing to the world's woes.
We need to stop being numb.
We need to FEEL this injustice. FEEL our response to it. FEEL our anger.
We need to get real. To get angry. To let anger move.
I see now how anger can lead us to drive things through. How it fuels the fire and leads to ignition rather than having the elements for change and none of the combustion to really get the transformation.
The anger i was feeling, i realised after reading the above quote by Blanche Howard was supporting me to take back the control of feeling horrified at what was being perpetrated on my beautiful land by this government and DO SOMETHING.
The dowager aunt of anger reaches over and pats me twice on the shoulder. and i stand a little straighter.