Thursday, July 27, 2006

rage and outrage

This is a response to Emily's post. It is a quotation from Sue Monk Kidd's "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter", her spiritual memoir. The book is the story of her feminist spiritual awakening. The quotation below had a heading: "Transfiguring Anger", and regards her anger at patriarchal structures that wound women.

page 186-187
"By transfiguring anger, I don't mean that we wave a placating wand and poof! anger disappears. Nor do I mean that anger is turned into sweet resignation. By healing or transfiguring it, I mean to imply, in Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs's words, that anger becomes "a fire that cooks things rather than a fire of conflagration." A conflagration may embolden and impassion you for a while, but if you get stuck in it, it can burn you up. A fire that cooks things, however, can feed you and a whole lot of other people...
...The transfiguration of anger is a movement from rage to outrage. Rage implies an internalized emotion, a tempest within. Rage, or what might be called untransfigured anger, can become a calcified bitterness. What rage wants and needs is to move outward toward positive social purpose, to become a creative force or energy that changes the conditions that created it. It needs to become out-rage.
Outrage is love's wild and unacknowledged sister...She is the one grappling with her life, reconfiguring it, struggling to find liberating ways of relating..."



David Reese said...

right on.


emilyatnewpolitics said...

The third is about/for Rachael.
Who sent me a very nice note this week, which was lovely and good and reassuring and timed well in the midst of the aforementioned crazy-sickness-bout and also this post, which I'm just now reading of helpful quotes. And it's less of a story and more of an image. So, this is what I've been thinking lately... I do not really feel FULLY at home in the church. Or in the world. Or always in my body. Or in a whole slew of places. And I have a lot of trust issues. And I don't know where I'm going with my life. And I oscillate between okay with these things and not okay with these things. But, I have found that this has been really helpful for me:
1) Cassandra Wilson's cover of Bob Dylan's song Shelter in the Storm (Shelter from the Storm? I don't remember the precise detail).
2) People like you are also theologically helpful for me. : )
3) The image part: I find that while I can't imagine being AT HOME with God, while it feels dishonest to represent my faith as in that place, to pretend that I am feeling a level of calm that I am not, it has been a deeply rewarding blessing to imagine the moment of HOMECOMING -- the threshold space, the prodigal child headed home, the sense of turning towards something on a journey but needing a perpetual movement, but also being there, almost, meaning being there enough to feel the edges, but not there enough to rest, being in that moment where it switches, where it's neither there nor not there. In the homecoming space. I'll try to think more on this and then expand and clarify, but maybe there's an inkling of what I mean?