Anger has its roots in grief.
Old Norse, in fact, gives us “angra,” meaning “to grieve, vex, distress.” Old English, “enge,” means “narrow, painful.” In Latin, “angere” is to throttle, to torment. Old Norse also gives us “angr-lyndi,” a word for sadness, low spirits.
I feel rock-tumblers in my heart, in my belly, those old machines my grandfather had out in his workshop, screwed to the bench. Rocks went in rough and ugly, heavy with history but not much else. When Tepa opened the little doors – sometimes a week later – the beauty of those rocks astonished me. Deep greens, ocean blues, bright bronzes and gold. How did that happen?! I’d wonder.
It’s the grit, the water, the tumbling, he’d say. The pretty colors were there all the time. This statement might be the closest my literal-minded grandfather ever came to crafting a metaphor.
My anger is tumbling, tumbling, tumbling. Ugly rocks: fury, impatience, resentment, despair. The grit is my grief, my distress, my pain. The water, my torments let lose. And in the meantime, I have angr-lyndi – sadness. My spirit is low, sometimes crawling on the ground, sometimes just sitting there, overwhelmed by gravity.
Oh, angr-lyndi: you are a word way too pretty for the feeling you conjure. Maybe you’ve been tumbled a few thousand years, a few billion turns.
Maybe my anger has years yet to tumble; but I swear to you, I am making something transcendent out of it. I swear to you, I am polishing my anger until its earthly beginnings dazzle your eyes with celestial hues. I swear to you, someday, you will want to hold my fabulous, gleaming anger in your hands, marvel at the colors I've released from inside such raw skin.
Someday, you will pay for the chance to gaze upon my anger, but I will offer it to you as a gift.
Deborah A. Miranda