Kind promise: I will live joyfully without reason.

I’ve been feeling angry lately.

Just saying that releases a cacophony of monsters. (Actually, that’s a good collective noun for monsters.) The monsters say that I should not be angry. They say that I should not indulge the anger by paying attention to it. “Just let it flow through you,” says a monster in saffron robes. Anyway, the monsters are united in the idea that I should not be feeling what I’m feeling.

I was feeling snarly and I wanted to do something with it so it would not weigh me down or come out sideways at people. I picked up a paintbrush. “Red,” I thought. “Black.” My first painting teacher, though, taught us never to use the black from the bottle. Instead, he demanded that we mix it. So I started choosing colors from opposite sides of the color wheel. I tried to make angry strokes.

I got this: Painting snipand thisPainting

and this:Painting

That didn’t look angry enough, so I pulled out my iPad. Forget paint. Electronic black is black. So there: Electronic painting

And I can smear it all together in my anger and make this: Electronic painting

And all of them, all of them, all of them speak to me of energy and color. Energy and color make beauty for me. In beauty there is joy.

The magic alchemy of art is complete. Lead turns into gold. My anger has transformed into joy.