Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I am almost too angry to write.

"Writing," when writing is happening (I regard it as “happening”), is not begrudging like anger is, writing is a yearning to give something of me, a yearning to communicate, from where do I communicate but the heart. Even writing that seems much more cerebral or superficial than “heartfelt,” the flow, the wish to make writing happen, the wish to write--to a reader, unknown as she may be—those impulses come from an openness, a generosity.

Anger is a block to that openness. Anger is a staccato interuption in the usual flow, is a spike in the usual energy level. But no, how can I forget, anger fueled so much of my writing. I was angry at so many things. Political anger, abandonment anger, employment anger; anger at city planning, at architectural eyesores, at women who bullied, at men who stopped calling, at laziness that took credit, at form that didn’t follow function, at mayoral and employeral and presidental sins of omission or comission. Anger at injustices near and far.

Anger is energy, I had so much anger, I had so much energy. Salman Rushdie wrote the novel, Fury, in three weeks, burning with anger. I understood that story the first time I heard it. Anger in me wanted to shoot out of my body, as quickly and as accurately-aimed as possible. Writing saved me from picking up a different weapon. Mostly I shot at politics and exboyfriends, in order to spare anyone I wasn’t willing to harm.

Finally, getting engaged made me run out of exboyfriends: It suddenly seemed like so many cheap shots. My fiance told me recently, he doesn’t hold resentments against any of his ex’es except the one. I was incredulous. I’d say I am resentful of all of them. (And there were many, because I didn’t have the stamina.) Sometimes I picture my backed-up feelings for all the people in my life, unexpressed love and anger both, as filling me up to the middle of my eyeballs, and I think, “This poison must be expelled.” Another image: Resentment becomes habitual, then a magnet attracting more of itself, then a density in the body’s matter, then disease.

Resentment is perhaps what I mean when I say I am too angry to write--I am too RESENTFUL to write. Resentment is anger that has outlived its usefulness. Re-sent-ment. Latin, “feeling-again.” I am feeling my anger over and over again, I am holding on to anger instead of letting it do what it will, run through me and pick up a pen and generously tell its story on its way out of my system. Resentment: I am reliving the hurt or offense again and again, becoming its repeated victim, gathering shame for this action; for it is an action and a choice to hold on, to feel again.

Today, “I am too resentful to write.” I am not feeling generous, I am hording this anger, it is winter, I am keeping my anger close to the vest. I am closely allied with my anger, I am scared to give it away, scared because it fills my cavity entirely, scared because I am identifying with the anger. I wonder if there will be anything left of me, if I let it become liquid and pass through me, this venom, this anger.

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