Thursday, May 13, 2010

Unleash the Beast

Wind on the Hills

The wind flows through the tall grass
like a hand ruffling the green fur
of a large benevolent beast.

She sails along the edge of the field
in her little red car, furious
with him, furious with the savagery
abroad on the earth, furious
with the job that leaches her energy
and feeds her nothing but a paycheck.

At first she doesn’t see the tall grass
and the wind flowing through it
like a hand stroking fur.

Then she sees the benevolent beast
and she stops the car
she gets out of the car
and she gives herself to its power

Today the subject is anger. There's righteous anger, helpless anger, blind anger. There are lots of ways to be mad.
Yesterday I was in a cold fury. Someone who is in the habit of insulting me took one step too far. My boundary cracked.
One of the habits I was taught in sobriety is restraint of tongue and pen. Live and let live, let go and let God.
But that doesn't make me a doormat for someone's grubby shoes. I'm encouraged to speak my truth and stand up for my beliefs.
So I took a while to pray. I consulted a trusted mentor. And then I began to write.
As if it were a beast, I unleashed my anger.
As both a Christian and a recovering alcoholic, I know that anger is the wind that snuffs out the candle in the mind.
And so, when it was all said and done to my satisfaction, I went back and erased, by choice removing the excess, leaving only the cold bare skeleton.
I said what I had to say and no more. There's freedom in that kind of restraint.

Then I consulted my mentor once more.
And I sent that anger out. It has flown out of my mind to the one who inspired it.
I live in a valley among these hills. Today I have peace.


the walking man said...

I like when the beast rages and attempts to match my own insane anger. When the titans clash there is always thunder and in the thunder there is fear enough for all to eat at the feast of the furious,

Alan Burnett said...

That combination of anger and restraint isn't a bad balance. Sometimes anger can be a fuel that drives us on to try and do things that must be done, but sometimes it can become an end in itself. By the very fact that you can write about these things with such wisdom makes me certain that you have the balance right.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Very nice example of poetic anger management ...

Brian Miller said...

glad you have found that peace...anger is not always a bad did you let her know she hurt you? if not, then what keeps her from continuing to do it?

Paul C said...

'I said what I had to say and no more. There's freedom in that kind of restraint.' There is a meaningful interplay of imagery in your post and an underlying hope.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the inspiration. I have some anger to get rid and have trouble doing it.

I'll just try harder.

The Bug said...

Very powerful post - and one that it would do me well to remember the next time I'm tempted to explode.

Dianne said...

ps excellent photo, I see you. (Avatar)

Dianne said...

I saw that wind, and wanted to stop and stare, thinking I was the only one alone with the grasses dancing.

I learned yesterday anger does damage normal memory cells in the brain, what a concept, huh?

Glad you kept yours. And didn't recreate the energy that triggered it to recycle. I need some of those gifted mentors.

Enchanted Oak said...

Brian wonders if I let the person know the boundary had been crossed. Yes, I did. My grandmother's generation put it this way: "I gave him a piece of my mind." That's exactly what I did. A warning was included: Cross my line in the sand again, and all hell will break loose.
Will that stop the person? Who knows? The reaction to my warning is not my business. I'm staying on my side of the street.

Thanks to Lorenzo, and to Alan, who points out there's a difference between anger and resentment. I think speaking out, with a little prayer, restraint and input from a trusted advisor, is a way to prevent resentment from developing.

And Walking Man makes me smile. From where comes the phrase "Don't tread on me," coupled with coiled snake?
How poetic is the image of "the feast of the furious"!

TechnoBabe said...

I so like in the poem the wind in the tall grass like a hand stroking fur.
Anger is not a bad thing if you don't just react. In your case, you thought about it, asked a mentor for advice, wrote it all out, erased the excess and sought advice again. Man oh man. You have some patience.

Anonymous said...

"The reaction to my warning is not my business." It took me awhile to learn this concept. I was always attached to the result. I would have an expectation that if I said X, the other person had to say Y, otherwise it wouldn't work. Well, you can imagine how far that thinking got me. Learning how to detach and mind my own business was one of the most significant steps for me in finding inner peace. Do I get it right all the time? No. Do I get attached to the result sometimes? Totally. But at least I have something to work towards. It's amazing how much time we waste trying to tend to things that have nothing to do with us. - G

Beth Niquette said...

THAT is powerful. How very extraordinary. This post is amazing. I know exactly how that feels.

steveroni said...

Of the many issues which are mine still--anger is not one of them, except when too much happens at once--grin!

And I absolutely LOVE the line about "living among these hills, in that peaceful valley. You have a way with words also, Chris, as do a few others on these blogs!

Maybe that's why they write, to exercise "...the way with words".

Magpie said...

I find it amusing that Brian assumed it was a woman who had crossed the line....hmmmm. :)

I love the "red car" you were able to leave behind...
"she gets out of the car
and she gives herself to its power"
So beautifully done and it sounds like it accomplished the healing you needed.

PS Just kidding you, Brian.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the fantastic freedom in exercising restraint and directing a powerful skeleton frame of words to the end user.

Let the receiver bear the burden of assigning their own emotion, muscle and tendon to the words- leaving you free to walk- no dance- away and move on to bigger, better things.

You are growing in leaps and bounds, taking these life lessons and writing your own.

You're a force of nature, Chris. Never doubt that. I don't.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

great post, a wise anger you have...

Monkey Man said...

What beautiful poetry. I love when words allow me to feel the emotion of the author.

Syd said...

Someone crossed the line with me yesterday. I restrained my tongue but did speak my truth. I didn't vomit my anger but let it be known that I have established firmer boundaries and am now wary and more aware.

Anonymous said...

You are an weave words into a shaw that your readers can wrap around themselves.

Bravo! :) Lisa

also at

Woman in a Window said...

I am caught at benevolent beast. Benevolent? I am caught there. Seemingly so contradictory. I know I'm missing something...


evalinn said...

I can really relate to this one! Great!

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

Anger can be used for good or for evil. Jesus cast the money changers out of the temple. He had righteous anger, and I am sure you did too. I love the way you have written about it and handled it. Thank you for sharing & God bless!