When I was young feelings joined hormones with feet and rode on hormones with wings. They mixed cocktails with other feelings, turned into music, and made people’s names change. They were flowers, and sunrises, and the morning alarm clock.
To experience a feeling true and pure is stunning and wonderful. It may have happened twice in my life for sure. The rest of the time feelings came as part of a group -- love and happiness with a touch of insecurity, or maybe anger and confusion with a thread of compassion woven through.
But it can happen that a feeling can come without any others.
The doctor told my father that my mother, who was in a coma, would die by the end of that week.
No one, no person, no doctor can know that. He was wrong to think that, to say that, to tell my dad that about my mother. He was incredibly wrong to draw a line in the sand that would make an old man wait at the hospital, sleep on a four foot plastic loveseat in case that happened, in case the love of his life died in the middle of the night.
She did not die in that week.
I felt pure anger. I was anger alone. I had no other feeling. It was anger − plain, pure, perfect, simple. It was quiet, soft, and calm. It was as anger should be − natural and not fearful, with no need to harm. When anger isn’t mixed up with hormones and other feelings. It’s a fulfilling and gentle feeling.
It was easy to tell the man that God didn’t think he was a doctor and that he, the doctor, shouldn’t think he was God either.
Now I’m older and more feelings have lost their electricity. They aren’t so quick to attach to hormones. They are not so magnetic as they once were. My feelings like going deep and having space to spread out now. The words to describe them have become more important than the call to action that used to be them.
If pure anger can feel that way, just imagine what pure joy would be. What about love?
I’m learning how to polish and value the gems that are my feelings.
−me strauss Letting me be