The Colors of My Anger
There’s anger that’s a long, slow simmer
Like my crock pot making stew.
Stew, that’s a good word for it.
This kind of anger hides itself well.
It takes some time for me
To recognize what I’m angry about
Or who I’m angry with, and why.
This anger I’d call brown, like stew,
Only I can tell when it’s done, only then can I digest it.
Then there’s impatience, an in-the-moment kind of anger
With a short fuse that ignites and burns out quickly
But not before some unkind words may be said
Either to myself or someone else.
This anger is orange, like the glow of a match tip
For a brief second after you blow it out.
And what about frustration,
A seemingly milder form of anger
Yet insidious as it’s often lurking and not named.
It has deep roots in unmet needs, thwarted expectations,
Disappointment in life and in myself.
Frustration is a pervasive background color,
I’ll call it gray green, like the color of the Atlantic Ocean
on an overcast day.
How about the explosive anger that catches you off guard
Because it connects to something so raw and real
That it gushes forth in a stream of words
and gestures that stun the recipient
(but it feels so darn good!)
In that moment I’m wholly connected to its source
And it feels necessary to express it
without being cruel or punishing,
The fine art of righteous anger, I call it.
This anger is red violet, the most repressed of all in me
(perhaps in all women?)
Because it feels so powerful, and yes, masculine,
a vital energy that when repressed
Turns in on myself, causing self-recrimination
Here’s a true story:
I had a boyfriend once who did a great service for me.
He triggered my anger so deeply that I would lash out
In a most vivid and alarming way.
But he didn’t take it personally,
In fact, he found it fascinating.
One time, he told me that I was so angry
I actually levitated several inches off the ground!
(That’s what he said, I still smile when I recall it.)
But what a relief to dip into this deep, dark,
scary well of anger in me
that I didn’t even know was there.
And to his credit, he stayed.
He said, “I seem to serve that purpose
for all my girlfriends.”
Blessings on you, dear sweet man,
wherever you are.
You and your amazing sense of humor
That carried us through our quirky
And delicious time together.
I salute you and thank you
For bearing witness to the red violet
part of my journey through anger.
I’ll tell you where anger does not abide:
In the present, where peace and
contentment largely rule,
Or in the way I feel aligned inside.
It’s a beast I can now recognize
When it rears one of its many heads.
Which is not to say that it doesn’t still
Catch me unawares from time to time,
Or make me say something I regret.
It’s a sly creature, anger is.
Relating to it ongoing
Takes courage, alertness and respect.
Dianne is an artist, writer and inspirational speaker living in Santa Fe,New Mexico.