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Portrait of a Figure near Water by Jane Kenyon

Furious to the point of tears. When was the last time I cried because I was so angry? Have you ever gone through that? I almost blacked out because of anger is not the same as nagdidilim ang paningin, and believe me, I was certainly there.

Once again life challenges my assumptions. I should have really, really learned these things by now: never make assumptions. I shouldn’t rely on anyone else to come to my defense. The only one who can really speak up for the things I’ve done is me, and if I let my emotions take over then I will always appear to be the sorriest shit there is because I can’t get my words straight. I’m good with the pen but I will never be as eloquent when I speak, thus, debate will incessantly be to my disadvantage unless I’ve prepared well beforehand, and only an idiot thinks he can predict whatever happens next every single time. I shouldn’t expect people to be as sensible as I am, and someone who is ignorant is more prone to irrational wrath when he doesn’t understand what is happening. No matter how much I try to explain how things are, one who has already made up his mind will never listen to reason; therefore to him I will always be wrong.

It is futile to argue with a person who believes with all his heart that he can’t make mistakes, and anyone who encourages this behavior will never get my respect. And if that is so, then there is no use arguing with that enabler either. I will just waste my energy. When half of the people in the room has decided with impunity that they will destroy you because you’re different, and the other half has stayed silent to save themselves, this is the reality: you are alone, and you must believe in yourself and be strong, and you must never turn your back on what you have done.  You’re brave, but not fearless, and you must remember the difference.

T., oh dear T., you come from a family with quick tempers, and you have spent your whole life trying to curb this…this defect. Slow to anger slow to anger slow to anger slow to anger slow to anger bury this in your goddamned mind. Now you are replete with misery; you have run the whole gamut of emotions in barely ten minutes. How can you recover from here?

Portrait of a Figure near Water
Jane Kenyon

Rebuked, she turned and ran
uphill to the barn. Anger, the inner
arsonist, held a match to her brain.
She observed her life: against her will
it survived the unwavering flame.

The barn was empty of animals.
Only a swallow tilted
near the beams, and bats
hung from the rafters
the roof sagged between.

Her breath became steady
where, years past, the farmer cooled
the big tin amphoræ of milk.
The stone trough was still
filled with water: she watched it
and received its calm.

So it is when we retreat in anger:
we think we burn alone
and there is no balm.
Then water enters, though it makes
no sound.

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