This morning I read Montaigne's essay "How the soul discharges its emotions against false objects when lacking real ones."
A local gentleman of ours who is marvelously subject to gout would answer his doctors quite amusingly when asked to give up salted meats entirely. He would say that he liked to have something to blame when tortured by the onslaughts of that illness: the more he yelled out curses against the saveloy or the tongue or the ham, the more relief he felt. Seriously though, when our arm is raised to strike it pains us if the blow lands nowhere and merely beats the air . . .
. . . it seems that the soul . . . loses itself when shaken and disturbed unless it is given something to grasp on to; and so we must always provide it with an object to butt up against and to act upon.This passage made me think of Mr. Rogers. I remember watching him as a child and feeling relieved because, in his gentle way, he explained to me that I wasn't bad for feeling angry sometimes. He also gave me some great suggestions for how to handle those angry feelings. (For one thing, I could hit a pillow! Hitting a pillow is totally OK!) I believe this song was part of the episode where he gave the anger talk. It seems like the whole world could use this now --
So, what do you do when you feel so mad you could bite?