Saturday, April 11, 2009
The nature of anger
I have never been skilled in the field of anger. Feeling it, expressing it, owning it. Very rarely would I get in a verbal fight. Except with the occasional customer service person in a call center somewhere. So much easier to summon up fury with a stranger -- cowardly, but true. (And there was that memorable time I totally lost it at a cinema clerk when I discovered five minutes into the film that they were playing live music over the top of one of my favorite movies, The Seventh Seal. And I mean really lost it.)
I used to think it was a positive thing that I spared those near and dear from angry outbursts and that everyone remarked on my calmness in the face of conflict (the despoiling of Ingmar Bergman movies aside).
But is it really such a great thing, a thing to be proud of, that I am unable to focus in and feel the full effect when someone does something that really should make me angry? Where does that anger go? There is something to be said for the sheer purity of animal anger. These geese were acting out of deep instinct. They didn't take time to ponder or analyze my motivation in walking near their territory. Maybe I have something to learn from them.