Transmutation of Anger
Yesterday I wrote about going to my mother's house to clean. After I was done there, I went to the "Book Warehouse" in the center of town that used to be "Borders" and bought some ridiculously low priced books that I have wanted for a very long time and had satisfied myself by borrowing them from the library in the past. Lynn Andrews is one of my all time favorite authors, a beautiful Medicine Woman who appears to channel parts of my soul in her words. I am enraptured by her existance on this earth.
Another author who inspires me greatly is Julia Cameron, the author of the well known "The Artists Way" and several other awesome works of creative genius. Both Lynn and Julia have been incredible teachers to me for a very long time and I am grateful for their indescribably gorgeous presences in this world. So when I saw "The Writing Diet" by Julia Cameron in the bookstore I abandoned reading "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck for a few weeks because in "The Four Day Win" Martha Beck talks about dedicating a little bit of time each day to read something about nutrition, diet, exercise, etc. anything that you haven't yet tried to implement into your lifestyle to enhance it for weight loss or management. So I had started doing that by listening to the "French Women for All Seasons" audio cd on the way to work read by the author of "French Women Don't Get Fat." That was finished and I learned what I could from it. Then I remembered that I had to move on to something else, and that I had started reading "The Writing DIet", not really sure if she really meant to write your way on a diet. She did, and does teach this in this book. She teaches about writing down and about everything you eat, and why as well as the power of using anger as a creative catalyst.
So as I am standing at the checkout with my Lynn Andrews books yesterday, there is a note on the counter that reads, "free audio cassettes with the purchase of $10 or more" and I see one about women and anger and one about poetry of a woman whose son has died of AIDS. I took those two and immediately started listening to the one about anger. The next day (today) I am reading my chapter quota before my morning pages (another tool of Julia Cameron's) and she is talking about how we eat to pacify anger. How we stuff our uncomfortable emotions down with food and late night ice cream. Most importantly, how anger can be directly channeled into incredibly works of art.
Quite a few years ago I met some people who claimed to be one way and turned out to be another. Pretty typical arrangement, happens all the time. This particular short chapter ended in me painting a mermaid that I liked very much but whenever I looked at it, I was reminded of the plastic nature of the relationship and I struggled with my thoughts on whether I keep this piece as part of my painted life diary, or burn it. I had never done such a thing before. Ultimately, I did burn it. I have never done it again and the blues and greens of the painting imprinted themselves forever in the memory attached to the association between the people and the painting. This is one of my more dramatic memories of how I used art to channel anger.
I am sure all of us have things that we are angry, resentful and bitter about no matter how enlightened or ascended or transformed we believe ourselves to be. Things that I thought I was no longer angry about come flashing back to me on fire sometimes and I don't know where they come from, or why. All I know is that I need to deal with them when they come back around, like I did with the painting. Burn it out, creatively...Someone once told me not to air out my dirty laundry which is good advice. Spewing out your bitter hatred does nothing but prolong the ugly thing that it is. Learning to transmute the anger is an art in itself. Practicing this while the anger is taking place is quite an experiment. It is definitely one I am willing to continue exploring. This week I am painting a watercolor piece and I have no idea what will come of it. I do know there are a few issues that will somehow work themselves in through either a color or a symbol or a look in the eye of my subject, whether it be a woman, a bird or a deer...and this is my anger transmutation collectively channelled into a creative outlet. Wouldn't it be great if it could always be this way?
Until next time my friends...