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The Ember of Rage

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After my daughter was born last July, something changed. What Henry Rollins calls the “ember of rage” that had been simmering deep down inside of me pushed upwards to the surface. It has been painful and transformational and I sit here today wondering it will lead.

Yesterday I read the suicide note from an Iraq-war veteran named Daniel Somers. I won’t do the man and his family the injustice of quoting from it, but instead, I urge you to read the note in its entirety here.

This issue hits really close to home for me, as I would include it with the many feminist issues that Lisa and I want to discuss with all of you. Perhaps this entire blog was born out of finding that my ember of rage needed more than just my own thoughts to stoke it.

It is uncomfortable to deal with rage, and frustration, and heartbreak over much of what is happening in our world. We do a great job, thanks to capitalist patriarchy, of masking and avoiding those feelings – things like obsessing over our bodies and physical appearance, abusing a variety of substances, or accruing more money and possessions. But our relationships to others and our knowledge of the pain that other people have keeps reminding us that masking is only a temporary fix.

It doesn’t matter what your ember of rage comes from or if you think you don’t have one. As Henry Rollins discusses in his story about visiting disabled veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, we all have one. Yours may have to do with children, women, LGBTQ rights, mental health, the elderly, racism, war, wealth distribution, animals, the environment. Rollins gives a stirring call to action in his show, by saying that we all have to decide that “this” isn’t going to get passed on to our children. And it’s up to all of us to, as he says, decide that this (whatever that ember of rage is for you) isn’t going to happen on our watch.

The Ember of Rage. Let’s see where it leads us.


One response »

  1. Yes, yes, yes. What a great point, there are so many implications to this idea. I have long felt that rather than having everyone agree to be passionate about certain things, what this world needs is for each person to carry the banner for what matters most to them. There are so many issues that need attention and care, we all need to pursue that ember of rage and whatever has ignited it so that all of those issues get the attention they deserve. There are a handful of things that get me burning, that prompt me to action, and that I work actively to change. I also cherish the opportunities to hear what those things are for other people, and explore the smaller ways I can contribute to their battles, as I hope they contribute to mine.


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