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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rage

Lately I've been thinking a lot about 'rage'. It seems to be part of the human condition -- I think everybody must suffer it at some time in their life. It seems to me that it's what we do with our rage that determines our life.

There are people in my life who would deny that they have ever been 'enraged' and yet it is one of the most telling features of their personalities. And just because one seems to be even-tempered does not mean there is no rage -- does it lie there unrecognized? Is it supressed and controlled or directed and managed in some mysterious catharsis that is incomprehensible to others?

I am always leary of people who have modulated and controlled manners of speech -- somehow you can see beneath the facade to the rage underpinning the character. Of course I could be wrong, but I always felt that about Margaret Thatcher's voice ...

Rage is most obvious in children -- the terrible two's, three's and four's! But the manifestation is so different -- some have out of control tantrums, others bully in stealth, some tell tales and some say nothing, prefering to sit out the loud hysteria that quiets and lulls their behaviours but not their psyches. Usually, we calm down for a while, until the onset of puberty, when emotional hell breaks out as we reach for and demand equality with adults, come what may, ready or not!

In general, I feel that my rage has been spent -- burnt out -- doused! Once upon a time I would vent and rant and though my husband can still elicit such behaviour from me from time to time, in general I feel rather 'becalmed' and 'boring'. But there are some people who never recognize or come to terms with their rage at any level. They are the grumpiest of grumpy old men and the grumpiest of grumpy old women. The live long day is a rampage of complaints and diatribes about how badly everything is done and how the solution to all of the ills that engulf them is obvious if only this or that was done. Victor Muldrew is not a fictional character! He is an every man ...

For a long time I've been witness to rage within a family -- between adults -- who love each other, I think. I wonder how it can be soothed ... in one instance it is between father and daughter, in another it is between brothers, and in yet another instance it is between a two small boys and their mothers. In only one instance is it recognized, in the others it is denied. And so it would seem to be that the rage will work through succeeding generations and the past will work its way into the future.
Interesting item in the news today: supposedly Barack Obama and Richard Cheney are 8th cousins! Further investigations into the subject of genealogy has shown that such relationships are not surprising and that 50 generations back we are probably all related to one another! So where the hell did the rage start and when are we going to learn how to deal? And where along the line are you my cousin or my uncle or my aunt? And is the rage yours, mine and ours?

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