First posts suck.
For me, at least, it’s true. I hate writing them. Beginning new things– particularly unfocused blogs– all that necessary work that will in one way or another establish and affect the rest of the project you’ve decided to undertake, is annoying. It’s like a giant speed bump that props itself up at the start of a racing track. Imagine what a pain in the ass it would be if every game of Mario Kart started off like that.
For the time being, this blog isn’t going to have a central, obvious focus. This is because I’m not a focused person. I think everyone is like this, really. Unfocused. Even if you’ve got a steady job, or an obsession, or you always know what you’re going to eat for lunch, you’re still a bit unfocused on the inside. You get distracted and you like certain things for a bit, then you like other things for another bit. You realize broccoli doesn’t taste as bad as it did ten years ago. That’s what separates us from robots, maybe. For now.
I already know I suck at first posts, so I’m just going to forgive myself for this and write about whatever I want. Because this blog is mostly for me. I’m throwing caution to the wind and letting it hitch a ride down to the States, where I’m sure it’ll be sent straight back with a care package of picket signs and shotguns.
Anyway, this blog is going to be about things that matter to me at the moment. Thoughts, news clippings, etc. So let’s begin.
About five minutes ago, I was on a site I sometimes visit, reading about things I’ve sometimes heard of. I came across this discussion on anger and rage, which resonated with me. Here’s the excerpt of the Laura Bogart interview, via The Dish:
In some ways, anger has been my saving grace. The ability to get good and pissed-off at the ways I’ve been mistreated—and not just by my family—is life affirming. The whisper of my roiling blood tells me that I matter, that I don’t deserve what I’m getting (or not getting). My current therapist actually has made a very potent distinction between anger and rage. Anger, she says, is that affirming force. Rage, she says, is a kicked dog that bites the first person that tries to pet her. My work in nonfiction and fiction examines the often hairline difference between the two, which has made me very aware of whether what I’m experiencing is anger or rage. That is to say, whether what I’m feeling is a legitimate reaction to a genuine slight, or just an excuse to bare my teeth.
First: Bogart is an exceptional writer. Her syntax and voice are what impress me the most, but I’m not an expert on the technical aspects of writing, so my first thought came from the avid reader in me– that her writing is magical, in a way that’s unique to her. It’s the kind of writing any reader hungers for. I’d love to read more of her work (full interview is here, by the way, and this is her blog. Her most recent essay, published on Salon.com, is here.) I’d love to learn to choose and place words the way she does.
Second: I find emotion fascinating, and it’s easy to draw connections between Bogart’s therapist’s distinction between anger and rage with my own emotional experiences. I’m not very good at defining small differences in emotion, even though I might understand them at a basic level, but it’s extremely important that as human beings we understand the differences between the emotions we feel. Reading that “anger… is that affirming force”, and “rage… is a kicked dog that bites the first person that tries to pet her” made everything click for me. It put into words what I was unable to express myself.
A cool exercise is then to go back and look at times where you’ve felt rage, rather than anger, and vice versa. Picking apart the differences, and taking note of whether you had reacted to a legitimate slight or as a kicked dog would.
Anyway, I’m not going to go into this article too much. I urge you to check it out, it’s really cool.
First post: over.