Dangerous Compassions


Hello, reader.  How are you doing?  I made an art chart.  It’s about anger.


I saw an anger chart online for sale, but for kids.  I decided to create my own handmade version for adults or teenagers.  I like how there’s a number system, a way to gauge the amount of anger, and then things to do, for various feeling levels.

It was fun to make this chart because I have a lifetime of facing my own anger and the anger of others.  Feels great to do something with what I know.

And I like the perspective questions I put: Why am I so angry?  Do I need to change something about the world? my perspective? my life?  And the big question to ponder of How can I harness this creative life-force energy to help make a more just and happy world?

Our anger is powerful.  When it gets too intense, mine is just chaos and can’t be directed for goodness.  So I want to keep it in a manageable range.


My anger art chart relates to other projects like radical mental health zines, to love: abusers in radical spaces, and the mini-zine I made How Not to Domestic Violence Anyone.  People who feel a lot of anger need resources in order to remain ok to live with and work with.

I taped a copy of this anger chart to a wall in our community’s main kitchen.  A housemate told me she enjoyed it.

“It’s so non-judgmental,” she said.

I appreciated her feedback.  Yes, that’s what I’m going for.  Anger is a feeling state like any other, and we can use the energy in all different ways.

We don’t need to shame people for how we feel.  Anger itself isn’t wrong, but hurting people is wrong.  It helps to have tools for how to handle our feelings, rather than just holding a vague wish to be responsible, kind, or caring.


I hope all of us wish to be decent to ourselves and to others.  There are skills we can cultivate to do that– it doesn’t just happen by accident.  It’s emotional labor.

Emotional skills don’t make money, so they are invisible-ized.  Better to learn and share them preemptively, than be court ordered to attend anger management class after a domestic violence charge.

Better to avoid harming ourselves and others.  What kind of culture do you want to live in?  We can do so much better than nil emotional skills.  I’m happy to do radical mental health and share what I know.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

3 replies on “anger”

River, you are so wise. So wise. I’d love to see an image of this chart. I love your writing, the ways you process things through your words, your deep truth-telling. I keep feeling like there is real conversation going on and I wish it were true. I imagine us pounding bread dough together, pounding, pounding, pounding, until it be one’s something to feed community. Blessed new year, dearheart. Canyonelder

Ah! The chart did show up on my computer just now. It was missing on my cell, where I first read the article. Thanks again, dear one. Carolyn

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