Back to the Anger (2)
August 30, 2010
Anger is back on my emotional menu, more by its absence than its presence. Maybe I have slipped into a higher state of fundamentally being angry (in the here that, being here kind of way). But it feels more like a slip back into apathy, indifference, ambivalence, abstraction, depression? For some weeks now I've been struggling to write. This would be OK if it were a struggle, but it's not. It's a muddle. I'm in a muddle with me and my world, wondering if the feelings are mine projected or prompted and sustained by the world around me.
I have felt this coming, in much the way that HH was saying of himself recently: feeling short of energy, mixed motivation, apathetic to some extent, though not to the point of inactivity. Aikido practice disappeared into the space of French/Spanish things two months ago – I travelled for the first time in three years without a jo. It had been slowing for a couple of months, attrited by a solo training regime which needed the spark of submission to reinvigorate itself. I haven't forgotten aikido, but the inner push flags in the cool of Melbourne dawns. Don't ask about the warmth of winter arvos.
What's actually arrived? One thing is inexpressibly fierce thoughts about our leaders of many stripes and competences in many places. These thoughts have stopped me even as I write. So powerful is the commandment against thinking them that the prospect of public shame for doing so inhibits my language, and so my fingers (with which I write these days, not the 'pen' I would have written just now). After a couple days' pause in the space between fullstop and 'A', I can say these are thoughts of retributive justice. Trouble is, I'm untested at violences of the bodyful sorts and quail in the face of bodily threats unless provided in controlled environments like ice hockey or aikido, in which cases I love violence.
What's behind this arrival? Nothing new, but the gathered load of years of obsessive anger, which CB reminded me today was long gathering hair rather than action.
A year and some ago I proposed that
"Disregard makes investment in emotions unrewarding to their owners, but it doesn't reduce their energising sources. Often it intensifies them, or the owners' perception of them, which does just as well for outrage production."
I was wrong in the long term. For some, at some times, under some personal conditions the weight of others' disregard generates one's own disregard in return. Unfortunately this is not terribly instructive to the others. They do not feel the absence of ones regard for them or oneself.
Back to the anger.
Here Michael Leunig surmised a few weeks ago:
Perhaps we are witnessing a historic moment when our politicians are ceasing to advocate our intelligent concerns and are beginning to openly represent our madness.
Maybe that's not why I started aikido training (self-training) for the first time in three months today. Maybe it has been mostly me and only somewhat 'them' that I have slipped into torpid laxities – TV, eating/drinking in compulsive ways – which I've always had a taste for but they are both more and less powerful these recent days. Watched more often but for total less time.
In honour of my honouring a monthly performance target for 17 months, I'm posting this in the last days of August, way behind on my notional monthly target, yet still keeping myself in the game. Will I lift it or leave it?