Today is 4/20 or 420…yes there’s still time, so to speak. It’s in the air I can smell it. Where is it coming from? Is it me? Is the odor from some DEA bunch that is burning plants and stash? I’m not sure, but go out on your front porch (if you have one) and breathe deeply (if you still can). Can’t you smell it? Maybe it’s a memory from the ’70’s when I was an active user shelling out 10 bucks for a lid made up of mostly twigs. Zig-Zag became an operative word. Ah, thinking back. Nostalgia. Did you know that the root meaning of nostalgia is pain? Think about it. Were the good old days really ‘good?’ I just watched a documentary on the “Doors” and felt a twinge of nostalgia. I saw the group twice at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood near L.A. The first concert was stellar, the second, not so much. The first concert they were on their way up. The second they were on their way down. But, as Johnny Depp said in the documentary “you can’t flame out unless you were on fire.” I didn’t hate the second concert, I was ten yards from the stage. I was disappointed when Morrison forgot the words to my favorite song “Crystal Ship” and dropped it all together from the list. I believe I may have been a little 420 at the time which took the hard edge off of ticket prices and disappointment. Nostalgia=pain.
It’s been a long week working with my EFL/ESL students. Now it’s a warm Friday evening. We laugh a lot in class. We laugh at each other as both me and the class struggle with the insanities of English. I admire them. What a cool job I fell into. When I was younger it was easy to objectify the “other” even hate them for not being like me. Hate them for not thinking like me. Hate them for liking the “A’s” rather than the “Giants” stuff like that. What do you hate? I could have hated Jim Morrison, ethnic groups different than myself, Sister Mary Rosina in 4th grade, the genes I have been given for thinning hair. It has to be a “something.”
hate (verb) (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
The key words of the definition here are passionately and extreme. Both of them involve effort…a lot of effort. But I now know that the anger I originally directed outward to whomever or whatever actually comes back to own me, in effect I give it more power than it deserves. Every time I think about “it” I get angry all over again. My anger then rules my life. Is that a good thing? Do you have angers? Do you know angry people? Where’s the happiness? Where is the sense of well being? But, you say, it is righteous anger! How long does anger remain “righteous”? How long before the righteousness of my anger completely separates me from the rest of humanity. Do I band together with other righteously angry people and continue to direct my disdain outward? Or do I try and find a sensible way to discharge that anger. To hold on to it requires much effort, maybe too much effort. To each his own I suppose.
There’s a lot of so-called “righteous” anger out there isn’t there? Objectifying any one who does not think the way I think, Obama, gays, Christians, non-Christians, deists, theists, atheists. Tea Party, George Soros, sagging pants, noise, Iran, people who eat doggies and people who tie dogs to the roof of their car…the list can be long. How long is your list? Is the way you are going about holding on to your anger working for you? I think, if more people got behind the 420 movement, you’d see less gun-toting vigilantes or Virginia Techs or Columbines. I know it’s a simplistic view of the world through those strange colored glasses I bought on the Panhandle at Golden Gate Park that one summer so long ago. But maybe you have a better idea to mitigate the dis-ease of anger…if so, write it up below…
and so it goes…