Month for Loki, Day 5: Facing Anger
“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
I had a strange dream about a crazy, angry zombie-like woman living in my house (which was like a dormitory with many rooms).
She was in a specific room.
And in the strange dream-logic, I remembered that I had met her once before.
I realized that I was afraid of her, and she knew it.
She seemed to feed on that fear of mine, and she relentlessly pursued me. (She carried a large machete-like weapon).
I tried to avoid her….
….but the rituals of my avoidance of her were so ridiculously time-consuming.
I hadn’t time for anything else. I was losing so much time every day.
I felt so much shame. I felt so much embarrassment.
I just wanted it to be over.
I was tired.
But once I had resolved to find her and face her, she was very difficult to find.
I kept returning to the room where she was, but she was not there.
K and I had an interesting conversation, within in the dream, about how she could be found, and about what must be done when one does.
It was hir belief that you must take her weapon from her by force; meanwhile, I was adamant that I might convince her to put it down/give it up.
Was this a battle between Force vs. Reason?
But then, another spoke to me: She will not be convinced; she is too angry. She will not listen to reason. You must find another way.
And that made me think of that Louise Bogan poem, titled [maybe not-so-ironically]
O God, in the dream the terrible horse began
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows,
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane,
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through his nose.
Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground
When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the rein.
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound
Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain.
Give him, she said, something of yours as a charm.
Throw him, she said, some poor thing you alone claim.
No, no, I cried, he hates me; he is out for harm,
And whether I yield or not, it is all the same.
But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove
Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand;
The terrible beast, that no one may understand,
Came to my side, and put down his head in love.
Suddenly, I had an idea.
In the very room where this crazy, angry zombie-like woman lived, there was a door that opened to the outdoors…to sky, grass, trees…to the outside.
It was a Dutch half-door, of inlaid exotic wood, laid in an interesting pattern of X’s and W’s.
The top-half of the door was open, but the bottom half remained closed, perhaps locked.
It hadn’t a doorknob that could be worked from the inside, but in studying the area where a doorknob would be from the out-side, there seemed to be an elaborate puzzle of turning latches that hid tumblers that slid smoothly into the door-frame.
Suddenly it occurred to me that if this woman were anything like the way I am when I am angry — no, blindly enraged — a latch like this would prove too complex a situation to ever hope to overcome.
Her mind would just be too clouded. Had she given up?
How frustrated she must feel, I thought, to never have been able to open this door.
Suddenly, I realized that that was the answer.
And so, I resolved and I focused and I opened it
Hail Loki, Opener of the Way!
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