Monday, December 05, 2011

Lost and Found

Just started reading Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos and I’m already finding treasures to jot down.  One of the many joys of reading – discovering new ways of looking at the world and/or at words themselves. 

“It was the first time Pen had ever seen Will lose his temper, although “lose his temper” never seemed quite the right way of describing it.  What got lost was everything else, all the things that made Will himself: empathy and patience and decency, his sense of humor, his sense of justice, everything fine and good deserting him in one ugly rush.”

And that’s what it’s really like, isn’t it?  Our temper emerges – we don’t lose it.  It’s always there, lurking below the surface.  And then suddenly (or not so suddenly) we’re no longer in control of our anger, our fury.  It’s the other parts of ourselves – the good parts – that are temporarily submerged, buried by anger and frustration.  And how quickly that eruption can occur – which is a bit scary.  If you are really, really mad, it can be difficult to even recognize yourself amidst the rage.  You’re no longer the self you take pride in being.

For most of us, the emergence of this ugly side of our nature is followed by regret and remorse.  Or not.  Sometimes a good temper tantrum can be cathartic.  I had two mini-temper tantrums yesterday.  After each one, my better self (the self I adore!) returned and with it, my sense of humour.  I was able to laugh at myself.  Thank God.  It must be awful to be perpetually angry at the world or yourself.  Worse than awful – tragic.

I’m going to make a concerted effort not to “lose my temper” today.  It could happen.  I’m going Christmas shopping.  And while I always start off in a good mood, this seasonal venture often brings out the worst in people - the parking lot rage, the line-ups, the grumbling... 

It’s a slippery slope, my friends.  How easily it can turn into Ho! Ho! Hell!

Perhaps if I keep a smile plastered on my face?

When you're smiling
When you're smiling
The whole world smiles with you…

photo credit: google images


Jaya J said...

Never looked at loosing one's temper in that way but it makes a lot of sense :) thanks for sharing
I get angry while on the road and faced with stupid drivers but during those times, I have to be angry or else I'll loose it :p
Happy shopping :)

Gorilla Bananas said...

It's interesting that Shakepeare used the word "distemper" to mean a deranged state of mind, so maybe the word "temper" did once mean all those temperate qualities one loses in anger. The best thing to do when the red mist descends is swear - it always makes you feel better!

Trish said...

What a great way of putting it. I'd never thought of it like that, but it's so true. Good luck with your shopping - ho ho hopefully no hell ;)

Sherry Smyth said...

I've like Marisa de los Santos' other books, but couldn't get into "Falling Together" -- it just didn't come together for me.

Losing my temper? I've got this long fuse and when it goes, it just goes, but I've never thought of it in quite this way.

Here's to holding our tempers as the holiday madness ensues!! xo

Zhu said...

I like that observation. It's another way of looking at it!

I rarely lose my temper but I can rant like a true French :-)

Juliette said...

So...did you lose your temper? If you didn't, in the Christmas rush then I'm VERY IMPRESSED with you Beth! I may try this tomorrow...

Beth said...

Jaya J:
Better in the car than out - confronting those crazy drivers. :)

The red mist descends and the air turns blue!
(I like your theory re: distemper/temperate qualities.)

Ho Ho Happily no Hell!

So far, I prefer her other books, too.
Holding in our tempers? Sometimes you just have to let it rip! I’m just careful who I aim it at. ;)

Ranting is good. Ranting in French is even better. Sounds so sophisticated.

I did NOT lose my temper! In fact, I had three lovely chats with perfect strangers. (Apparently, I’m very approachable.)
Keep smiling!

laughingwolf said...

i have a slow fuse... except when it gets super short... then, no one wants to be around me! ;) said...

I love the sentiment, Beth - yours and Pen's. Nicely done.
I hope you endured the shopping madness without Anger acting up.

Cheryl said...

It is so nice to be back in the blogging world. I have missed your wonderful posts as well as your great book reviews. To date, the books you have mentioned have been great.

I like that perspective on loosing one's temper. Until recently, I never really realized how cathartic loosing one's temper can be.

Beth said...

Well, there’s a plus as to an Internet friendship… ;)

No anger, no frustration – kept the smile – and was (partially) successful gift-wise. :)

Oh, it most certainly can - for you, I recommend an every once in a while LET IT ALL OUT!

nursemyra said...

Oh yes... the red mist. Watch out when it descends

Beth said...

Red mist, purple with rage, blue air - such a colourful experience...

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

Ok, so I have a silly amount of temper tantrums. I would say I have an anger management problem. But the only thing I regret is that I can't just go on a rampage and break shit without having consequences, consequences such as having shit that is broken. I would follow you but Blogger isn't letting me at the moment. Which makes me angry.

You have good taste in authors. K.V. is one of my favorites. Haven't read Mordecai Richler but really enjoyed the movie for Barney's Version.

DWei said...

I can't remember the last time I lost my temper because I'm a relatively calm person. I prefer to silently rage and then plot my revenge against the offending issue.

Beth said...

I only throw things that are unbreakable – and not at anything breakable. Which isn’t particularly satisfying but at least I’m not left cleaning up a mess. ;)

“Revenge is a dish best served cold…”

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I can't believe I didn't comment on this. It must have been shortly before my last relapse and then, well flat on my back again. I have been so resentful of this last bad cold. But I did love how you pieced together those words of lost and found. Funny how the lost temper or state of inner peace is never permanent. I, too, am guilty of totally losing it because, and I know you know this, sometimes it's just all too much. I hope you are looking forward to a lovely holiday time ahead.

2Peeeps Health and Fitness said...

@ beth thanks for share

@Cheryl welcome back for glogging :)

Beth said...

The Bodhi Chicklet:
Thankfully, the lost temper isn’t permanent but I do wish the inner peace would stick around longer.
Be careful with that cold – all the relapsing. Don’t let it turn into pneumonia like I did last year. Brutal.

You’re welcome!