This essay is from a brief visit to the mining towns of Globe and Miami. I went there to shoot a number of old structures, forgotten things, once loved items. What I left with was a heavy feeling of loss and the genesis of renewal. Of coming out of the shadows into a Technicolor of the mind, emotional awakening from nostalgia.
“It’s a dangerous thing to romanticise the past. To allow nostalgia to drag up old memories from the depths of our hearts and fashion them into something they’re not. We built a mirage from a memory and knelt before it like a false god.”
I woke up angry again. The feeling of it scratched at my sheets and gnawed my arms, so that I had to leap out of the bed to get away from it. That feeling like steal wool against flesh.
Anger is not my normal state. My normal state is somewhere between here and Tijuana. My normal state is anxiety, the way you feel when you fall asleep behind the wheel for a few seconds and are on a hairpin curve. I can be cat-like, prone to scamper. But anger is something else for me.
Someone told me after I got sober that I have a lot of anger; that he has seen that side of me very few people know about. Repressed anger is something most alcoholics carry—especially women. In truth, all women. Our anger turns to sadness—overripe fruit set to pop its pulp and sicken the air.
I am not an angry person in that belligerent, obvious sort of way…Male anger. I think I am just impatient, knowing that everyone around me agrees that I need to be patient, but I am not in agreement. That’s the thing.
“If you are not angry, you’re not paying attention.” << My mantra when I was a twenty-something. “If you are angry, you are not living in gratitude,” I am reminded. As if gratitude is on the shelf all alone, as an urn with special cremains from angels.
No, I say. Anger and joy can co-inhabit. Gratitude and disdain, equally so. Gratitude MUST know the contents of my grief for me to even recognize the grace of being alive, the love that still remains. Gratitude respects a good sorrow.
We live in a world that is not set to stop for us to exhibit one thing or another in perfect order. Feeling states are not art exhibits, and rarely are they exclusive.
It can be trite. I know I am growing older into middle-age womanhood. “You can still have kids?” “Why don’t you just focus on your career?” “Ever think about getting a job?” <<<Countless questions about being a 45 year old, childless, in recovery, poor woman writer.
It pays to have women friends. I’m sure I’d be a lot angrier if I didn’t.
Holding this breath like a wish for desire only exasperates, and then the pace of one day to the next just doesn’t stop for anyone. How many things have happened over the past few months? Years? Did you expect them? Were you patient for them?
I am impatient. I don’t care for the scheme of things, and if I could raise the wild places out of their peril, the wild beings away from what is certain apocalypse, why would I choose patience?
If I could find that place I envision, the kindred partner, the freedom to roam, would I jump? Yes, I would.
There is the very real now versus the prospective future of waiting games and being patient. I choose to embody the now. And, maybe, just maybe that anger upon waking won’t make its appearance.