Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

sábado, septiembre 08, 2007

Stopping Anger Writing

I posted the following at daily Kos yesterday, because I've decided to take a respite from writing and posting political arguments. The diaries and comments I'm referring to are here. I've been writing and posting these kinds of things at daily Kos for about seven months. The post:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

I'm not saying Adios or even farewell. It's more like "see you after a while." I'm just going for a while to the woodshed:
To lock oneself away with a musical instrument and practice, either a particular piece or in general, until the player has improved greatly or can perfectly play the piece he has been practicing.
I'm just going to lock myself away for a while.
I'll be back.

I haven't been here for very long. Many of you have been here much longer than I. After all, I have UID 111,172. I've written a fair number of diaries and a bunch of comments. I feel that what I've written has generally been well received. And I believe that I've been fairly treated, even when there have been disagreements. You haven't troll rated me, and you've often complimented me. So it's not about you, dear Kossacks, that I'm writing this. I feel well treated by the community.

No. It's entirely about me. I notice that I'm falling into a rut. And the name of the rut is being consumed by my anger and perpetuating it and spreading it around and recycling it.

To be frank and very brief, I'm disgusted by all three branches of the Government, and I don't trust them. And I intensely dislike politicians, even the ones, maybe it's especially the ones, who purport to be on "my side." I'm sickened by interminable War and widespread killing of Americans and people from other countries and civilians. I'm outraged by blatant, sledgehammer attacks on the Constitution and the nonsensical arguments used to "justify" them. I'm horrified by repeated human rights abuses in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram. And I'm enraged by oppression of immigrants, gays and lesbians and transgender people, women, minorities, people of color, the poor. The list is almost interminable.

You all know this list, this litany, which I've abbreviated here.

And you all know that being a part of the "reality based community" somehow means seeing these things and learning about them and being angry about these things and expressing that anger vehemently.

I'm concerned about this, because I don't think it's good for me as a person to continue to consume and circulate so much anger so much of the time. I feel like the anger is driving out any pleasure I might find in life. I feel like the anger is overwhelming me.

As Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, a hero of mine, has written about anger:
Not only do we nourish our anger with edible food, but also through what we consume with our eyes, ears, and consciousness. The consumption of cultural items is also linked to anger. Therefore, developing a strategy for consuming is very important.

What we read in magazines, what we view on television, can also be toxic. It may also contain anger and frustration. A film is like a piece of beefsteak. It can contain anger. If you consume it, you are eating anger, you are eating frustration. Newspaper articles, and even conversations, can contain a lot of anger.

You may feel lonely sometimes and want to talk to someone. In one hour of conversation, the other person's words may poison you with a lot of toxins. You may ingest a lot of anger, which you will express later on. That is why mindful consumption is very important. When you listen to the news, when you read a newspaper article, when you discuss something with others, are you ingesting the same kind of toxins that you ingest when you eat unmindfully?

And so it is for me with blogging. In short, what I've been thinking and writing and reading and typing is anger. I'm over-consuming and circulating anger. And I think that I have been doing more and more and more of it, and less and less and less of anything else. I see myself becoming addicted to being angry and self righteous, and I don't think this is good for me. I also don't think it's good for my interactions with others.

As Rosh Hashanah approaches and the days of Awe (the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), I think I want to go on an "anger fast" and a "blog fast." I want to turn inward, to practice Teshuva. I want to stop. And I want to take stock. This is the time for that. If I have offended you in my time here, dear Kossacks, in what I have written, especially in my comments, I apologize to you for that.

This is a very good time of the year for such a fast from blogging. So I intend to take a trip to the woodshed for an indeterminate stay. I intend to stop writing politics for a while, I intend to stop commenting. I intend to stop encouraging others to be angry. I intend, of course, to continue writing my lit blog, and working, and writing my second novel. I'm not fasting from writing. I intend to spend the time I would spend here, reading and writing and being angry, on my family.

And I intend to take good care of my anger, and to increase my feelings of compassion toward all sentient beings. That doesn't make the government less assholes. It just means that instead I'm going to notice the warmth of this season, the ragweed blooms, the wasps, and the change of the seasons. I'm going to focus on things that make me happy, things that bring me joy. I'm going to listen to music I love (Vico C), and I'm going to enjoy the out of doors.

Eventually, I will probably come back to dKos. When I do, I hope that I will have more equanimity, that I will be able to bring joy even in these dire and threatening times, and that I will be able to surf anger rather than drown in it.

Thank you for reading this and for all of your support. Hasta proximo.

And also, dear readers of The Dream Antilles, I want to take this opportunity to say that if I have offended you in what I have written here and elsewhere I apologize.

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Anonymous myinneredge said... little friend, anger, as Thay often says...what seeds shall I water? I love the practice of watering the seeds of loving kindness and compassion and eliminating "unnecessary" suffering. The woodshed; the ragweed; the wasps...all of the perfection is waiting for you...enjoy dear friend! Breathing in,breathing
Warm Blessings

10:12 p.m.  

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