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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Granieri

On Anger: Shit FM

I am tuned to Shit FM this morning. I'm pre-coffee, pre-tea, post-emptying the litter box.

I am not ready to transform my rage this morning. Usually, writing performs a kind of alchemy for me, but everything is an affront this morning----a wisp of hair in my face, spilled water for the coffee.

My rage has reached a crescendo, between my mother's depression (I swear, depression is an infectious disease), the fact that she's isolating herself and won't allow me to do what I need to help her....

I can't even finish these sentences. I just held a hot cup of tea to my sternum, and it felt like kindness. It was a gentle thing. Thin place, baby, thin place.

I'll pour out my rage like a liberation; I must. I'll have tea with my monsters, as Pema Chodron instructs. I always imagine the characters from Where the Wild Things Are. We're settled down in a cave with steaming porcelain cups. We're sipping. We're gathered around a fire. Our shadows are jumping, long on the cave walls.

So, writing manages my rage? Yes. And yet, I do not wish to deny my rage, which is rooted in profound sadness and disappointment that my mother is unable to cope; that I am alone in this quest to keep her safe; that I am in fact trying to do more than "keep her safe"----I am attempting my lifelong Sisyphean task: making her happy. The ideal: Find a place between marinating in rage and running from it.

Here it is. I am tuning now to "Sleepy Hollow" at WXPN. Shit FM is indeed a regularly scheduled program, same shit time, same shit channel, but there's this, too: quiet music and my snoring cat, my tea, Sunday-not-Monday. My life is what I choose to attend to? Yes, and: Shit FM and "Sleepy Hollow"; the litter box and the snoring cat; my mom's depression and this bid for life on the page so I can live into the one off the page. From the beautiful Suleika Jaouad, living with leukemia and complications from a bone marrow transplant: "To me, this is so much of life: holding the really beautiful things and the deeply cruel, profoundly hard things in the same palm."

Good morning. The sun rose, again, "A Ribbon at a time–"

The fist is uncurled, unfurled.

We’re so used to running from discomfort, and we’re so predictable. If we don’t like it, we strike out at someone or beat up on ourselves. We want to have security and certainty of some kind when actually we have no ground to stand on at all. The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a remarkable stroke of luck. We have no ground to stand on, and at the same time it could soften us and inspire us. Finally, after all these years, we could truly grow up. –Pema Chodron

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