Friday, October 25, 2013

Rage, Reason, Remedy, Remorse

I lost it.

Just a couple of hours ago, I lost it over a very trivial, verbal exchange of insults with a stranger. Surprised myself. I’m generally very calm and contained. Some folks who know me react with disbelief when I speak to them of losing it.

On those occasions when I do lose it, is has to do with a build up of tensions, of frustrations. So one factor in today’s explosion is a series of small disappointments (mostly with myself) around things not progressing, not getting things done. Another factor is that I haven’t been meditating regularly these last two weeks, and increasingly I see how meditation grounds me in a very powerful way.

A third factor has something to do with why I haven’t blogged lately (and blogging is another very grounding activity). I sometimes write about my clients or situations they find themselves in. There’s always a concern about maintaining confidentiality, so I customarily change all identifying details, so that even if the subject were to read the piece, they’d be unlikely to recognize themselves.

For the last month or so, a young couple I’m working with has been in the middle of an absolutely infuriating and emotionally debilitating situation that has them feeling powerless and vulnerable. The circumstances are unique, so there’s no way to write about them without identifying them. And changing the details would obscure the essence of their problem. I’m considering speaking to them about the matter, exploring whether they’d be interested in having their situation aired. That could bring attention to their plight, but all things considered, would it be helpful attention?

So I’ve not blogged, in part, because... well, how weighty is the final season of “Breaking Bad” in light of the burdens of real life?

A rhetorical question, that. In fact, such fictional metaphors for life’s struggles can be incredibly powerful. I’m just nearing the end of Margaret Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake”. I find it a brilliantly nightmarish speculation about where “we” are headed. And I attended a talk by author Lois Lowry last night, to hear her speak about how her books have grown out of the myriad circumstances of her life – big and small, the aches and the gifts. And how healing and freeing and illuminating such transmutations can be.

I may have strayed off topic. Not sure. This all connects somehow. One final strand of conscious connection, between my own angry flare up an hour ago, and the painful circumstances of my young couple:

Sometimes, not only can I understand the emotional buildup that generates the acts of outrage and violence that populate the media (not condone them, but understand), sometimes I’m amazed that the outburst of rage does not happen. Perhaps I can say this much: What do you do when your child has been taken from you, and the workings of the law and of civil institutions conspire to keep you from holding your child in your arms, while all you have done is yearned and loved?

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