Saturday, September 19, 2009


We must begin with the understanding that I am a very angry person, so much so that nearly anything that comes from me is sure to be laced with a fine trim of rage, either subtle or not so subtle. This is because I have been sensitive my whole life to being forced to do as others suppose I should. I have been threatened by angry outbursts and squashed and prodded with the hope that I would become what is considered a model citizen.
My father made me mad in every sense of the word. My mother played the role of the villain’s henchman, the one that is in the story for comic relief and because the villain needs someone else to do their dirty work. I am angry because I was told that my drawings weren’t good enough, that you must do something right or not at all. The music that I liked was NOT music, it didn’t qualify. All real music was set to 4/4 timing, a rhythm that was natural, like the beating of a heart. I am angry because I was told that reading fiction was a waste of my time and I should read a real book. Perhaps the only thing that was praised was my writing, my story telling, maybe because a teacher had reported that I was talented. Then I was prodded to write stories with the idea of selling stories, as though there were no other possible reason to write a story, sing a song, or paint a picture. When I did make music I was told that I needed to make an effort to write a song that could be sold to Joni Mitchell so that she could perform it. When I announced that I would be an actress, I was taken to a commercial acting class… “O.B. sanitary napkins keep me confident and dry all day long…”
Anything that wasn’t pleasing, relaxing, and palatable by the masses wasn’t art. My father would have liked Hitler’s paintings. This is the reason that I am angry, so angry that I don’t even notice that I am angry, so angry that I could jump off a couch crush strawberries over my face until I am crimson and recite the national anthem backwards to the tune of a Lady Gaga song. I am angry because I knew that he was wrong but I was too small to defend my delicate creative being from my father’s corrosive view of life. I am angry because I was bullied by a greedy critic for more than half my life.
When I see anything that resembles these characteristic in others, when they champion greed or criticism with know-it-all confidence, it triggers a violent reaction within me. When someone appears to be making even the subtlest attempt to place a yoke over my creative being or that of another, even a hypothetical other, I feel the urge to smash a glass on the coffee table and slash the offender from their guggle to their zatch in order to fashion a hat from their entrails and paint the story of my victory over the walls with their blood.
Instead, I write something that will never make it to the best seller’s list or be published in a Newberry award winning children’s book because now my delicate creative being is active and productive and I will let nothing stop it.
I do not think that anger has no place any more than I should think that laughter has no place. They both belong here in my selection of words. Whatever I am, whatever I think, whether I am angry or frightened or joyful, that is what I can use, the raw material that I have to be creative with. I must not wait until I am a happy or peaceful person to start creating. Then I would never create. I write on the wall with my own gory entrails. The twisted workings of my machinery are bent to the ever unjustifiable purpose of being a free builder. So while I must confess that in my spirit aggression is a very near cousin to affection, I feel that there is nothing at all problematic with that unless it prevents me from doing that which I am determined to do: make stuff, whatever kind of stuff I can.

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