In the hammock with Anais…

Anybody else tried Pinterest yet? J’adore! I have an offline inspiration board and am thrilled to have something for all those things I find online that I love… I post a lot of them on facebook, to share with friends but they get a little lost on the timeline and I can never find anything again… yes, yes I know I can bookmark them in my browser but it’s just so much more fun to have the visuals. I’ve set up a couple of boards now and was looking for something on one of my ‘inspiring people’, Lou Andreas Salome and came across this fantastic video with Anais Nin… another favourite. In fact Anais talking about Salome is pretty cool.

So, this is it… Anais on anger and the artist:

It is an incredible piece really and I’ve had to watch it a few times… Not that I’m a big believer in astrology but I love the bit where she talks about being a Pisces… the duality of the sign, moving up and downstream, how they need each other and complete each other as in the eastern concept of yin and yang. Her complete identification with this sign is interesting. She talks of how it is ruled by Neptune the planet of illusion, the sign of the actor and how she harmonizes and infuses the dual aspects of the sign into one. I too am of a dual, mutable sign, Gemini and there are of course some similarities… as a writer and someone who has spent their life roaming the globe, I certainly have some affiliation with the characteristics associated with Mercury.

More fascinating though is her reflections on anger. On the one hand, anger wrought by frustration and bitterness, which is toxic and ineffective; then the other kind, the artistic anger. It struck a cord with me as, particularly this week, I’ve had a visit from a very old friend where I saw the corrosive nature of anger she describes. This friend, Ian, was diagnosed with diabetes over 20 years ago and it’s progressed over the years where he now has daily insulin shots. He came from the states where he currently lives and over the week stayed with a round of old friends. A pattern emerged. Each meeting began with the euphoria of old friends coming together and then quickly disintegrated to a complete deterioration in relations. The euphoria was accompanied by excessive drinking, which led to Ian becoming increasingly uninhibited with loud, rude and foul mouthed behaviour, hurling abuse ‘in fun’, escalating to vicious attacks on character and accusations of lies and deceits. More often than not, what followed was the onset of a diabetic attack. Exhausted and alarmed by the behaviour and less by the diabetic attack, Ian’s friends, now in their 40s with young families, asked him to move on. Ian, who has always had little self-control and a tendency to be overly emotional and somewhat dramatic, chose to believe these requests to move on were a sign of friends’ inability to cope with his illness. I can see that Ian is both terrified and angry about his illness. As anyone would be. The drinking is a kind of flipping the finger at the situation… like he wants to provoke the final attack and have done with it. This too is perfectly understandable. He visits friends because he is scared and reaching out but then lashes out and alienates everyone who cares about him. Again understandable but I, like other friends, chose to walk away. It is very hard. He refuses to be responsible for himself. I cannot be responsible for him. And I cannot watch him self destruct.

It makes me think about what I’m prepared to accept. Although personally quite hurtful, I could have excused the behaviour and allowed him to stay longer, looked after him. Isn’t that what’s called being an ‘enabler’?  I chose not to accept being treated that way.  It’s made me reflect on my past in a different light.  I find I’m doing this more and more these days… reflecting and making conscious choices…

I have to agree with Anais. I am interested in and inspired by women from the past who didn’t demand freedom but those who created it, took it… I am responsible for my own happiness.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: