Monday, January 23, 2012

A Visit with Anger

Anger was waiting for me when I went for a walk last night.

I sighed as I saw him at the end of the court, but was resigned to the fact because my choices were either turn back and disappoint Syrah the Mighty in her walk or carry on and have the companion I was not expecting.

"I see you're walking early tonight" he said pleasantly enough as I turned the corner with Syrah sniffing along the edges of the sidewalk for past visitors.

"Getting it out of the way early" I responded. "What brings you out?"

He laughed to himself gently, at a joke I could not here. "What brings me out? Have you listened to yourself lately? It's not 'What brings me out?' - it's 'Why haven't I come out before now?'"

I sighed as we turned yet another corner and headed east. "Okay, I'll admit I've been a little frustrated of late." At Anger's snicker, I inserted "Fine. A lot frustrated at late. But it's not like I can just start ranting and raving at people."

"Oh, I know" said Anger. "That's why the alternative is so much more fun - to have you mumbling under your breath, to have you screaming in your mind. It's lots more entertaining than you just letting loose on people."

I spun to look at him. "That's not fair. It's not as if I can just start speaking my mind. You know that words, once loosed, cannot be recalled."

Anger was smug. "Oh, don't I know it. But I'm patient - you'll slip up sometimes soon, saying something to someone you'll regret too late. You're so angry all the time now - it's only a matter of playing the odds.

I stopped dead in the street. Anger started to walk past me, then waited, looking at me quizzically.

"What if I just stopped?"


"Yes, stopped. Just stopped being angry altogether. If I'm not angry, I'm not going to slip up - right?"

Anger looked at me like I was crazy for a moment, then stuttered. "S-stopped? But you can't stop. You've many frustrations in your life - and you can do nothing about them. Anger is the one emotion you have that will propel you to do anything at all. Those are your choices, you know - be angry and talk some kind of action, even if it's bad, or be accepting and do nothing. People that have accepted are people that do not accomplish."

I looked straight at him. "But can't I accept and take action on those things that I can take action on? That's taking action - maybe not on so many things and maybe not as successfully, but at least on things that maybe I can change."

I thought again. "You know, most of things I am angry at right now are things I can't change - people, circumstances, that sort of thing. Can't really do anything about those. But there are things - maybe small, but things - that I can do. Maybe I'll start with those and go from there."

I smiled at Anger again, still standing there in the street. "Syrah's pulling the leash, so I've got to go. Thanks for the walk. Maybe we can make a date of it?"

And with that I dragged off down the street following a dog intent on the scent of something, Anger still standing in the sodium lighting of the street looking for all the world as if something had just hit him.

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