This is going to be a strange blog entry.
I had a dream the other morning:
I was struggling to keep a demon with large scaly hands from entering the house I was in. My heart was pounding as I attempted to lock it out of the structure by closing all the doors one by one. I was winning too. But the evil spirit was at this one last door, with its hands pushing the door in, while I was trying to push the door closed and lock it. I was losing ground. The door kept inching away from the lock! I woke up shivering and panicked.
Do Not Enter. Flickr Photo taken March 27, 2008.
GIVING IN TO THE ANGER
The night before, Agnes and I had had an argument that kept going till the wee hours of the morning, and being too full of pride, it wasn’t resolved before we slept. Which led to the dream, and an entire day at work feeling guilty, listless and awful. “Bleak and gray” were my operative terms.
The worst part about the fight was that I was lashing out in anger — literally letting the demon of my dream into my house — and I couldn’t stop myself. There were issues that I brought up and threw into the argument which had no bearing at all on the matter. But she had wanted me to speak, to express myself. And so I opened my mouth and let loose. Spiteful? Bitter? Enraged? All of the above. It just spilled out in an unchristian manner.
How easy it is to give in, to let evil take its hold on you. How easy it is to let anger open your heart and house to demons. It is as simple as letting anger fuel your words and actions. Which reminds me of how Satan enters Judas in John 13:27.
The truth is: I was guilty and angry all day. A part of me didn’t want to relinquish the anger or the self-righteousness, instead wanting the pain caused by my words to sting her a while longer. But a different part of me knew I was being a fool, and that I had to apologize for the words I’d said, that by doing nothing, I would be poisoning the single most important relationship I have on earth.
COOKING THE CURRY
I couldn’t apologize to her over the phone, so I waited for her to come home. Meanwhile I began cooking the most demanding recipe I’d ever done: a mixed vegetable curry (cauliflower, carrtos, beans) with the curry sauce paste mixed from scratch.
I was still angry when I began to cook. My ginger and garlic weren’t just finely chopped, they were decimated. My carrots and cauliflower were whacked at, ripped apart, knifed in the heart. My made-from-scratch curry paste wasn’t just mixed, it was mashed together with something close to rage. Except, by the time the sauce started simmering and things started coming together, I realized I’d stopped being mad. It had just left me.
And as I blog this, it dawns on me exactly why.
I wasn’t cooking for myself. By putting together something intricate for us to share over dinner, I was concentrating not on what I wanted, but what I knew SHE wanted. I was trying not to make it too spicy, I wasn’t adding the normal amounts of salt I would normally add, because I know she likes it that way. I was doing something for her and forgetting about me in the process. And by launching myself into an intricate recipe, I was able to distract myself from all my supposed angsts and concentrate on something worthwhile.
As the veggie curry stewed, I turned the heat to its lowest setting, went up to where she was sleeping before dinner, and apologized to her for everything I’d said and done.