Retro Tuesday – Anger is Just Sad’s Bodyguard 3-30-2021


Anger is just sad’s bodyguard.

When I first read the quote above, I had no clue what it meant. I couldn’t form the words into any semblance of understanding. Then it hit me and I understood with every fiber of my being.  Like a bodyguard protecting a client, we hide our sadness behind anger.   Anger is our shield to protect us from exposing our emotions to the world.

So much of the world lives on the edge between sadness and happiness.  The cars and houses and huge TV’s don’t bring the happiness expected.  Instead, sadness settles deep inside, a loss we might not even understand.  Because we won’t – or aren’t able – to admit the sadness at the center of our supposed ‘search for happiness,’ we pretend the sadness isn’t there.  We get angry at the people, events, politicians, (add your own favorites) we ‘think’ are keeping us from the happiness we deserve.

The truth is, we aren’t entitled to ‘happiness’ just because we exist. Every one of us is responsible for tearing down our own shield of anger and confronting the reality of life. Is all the anger in the world just hiding sadness over lives failing to fulfilled our own expected potential?

I lash out when I’m sad, trying to avoid some issue in my life.  I don’t like feeling out-of-control. The funny thing is, I know I’m hiding but I can’t help myself.  It’s easier to blame the world than to admit to the sadness settled inside me. It takes me a few hours, or days, to talk myself around to admitting the sadness hiding behind my armor.

If I am sad over a bill, with no clue where to find the money to pay,  I get angry. If only I had a better paying job; didn’t have to support my (adult) kids; if my mortgage company hadn’t screwed over some perceived slight.  You get the picture.

We all struggle with these feeling ever day. It’s the ostrich head in the sand syndrome.  If I don’t acknowledge the problem, it just might go away. I might win the lottery (if I played) or I might find a fortune in my attic (fat chance). Or I might just wind my way around to acknowledging my anger and deal with the problem head-on.  It doesn’t matter if I come up with an acceptable solution – such as where to get the money – I’ve confronted the issue.  That alone given me the peace needed to calmly and logically deal with the problem.

What if we could strip away the anger of the world, banish every shred guarding the sadness of an entire planet? What would be left for every man, woman and child?  Sadness. And then what if we acknowledged the sadness, every one of us on the entire planet. What if nobody felt out-of-control?

What would our planet look like then?

Sunday Photo Fiction 4-4-2017

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.


© A Mixed Bag

He could just make out the roof of the house, the stark white of the barn, the lighthouse beyond. If he could see them, they could see them, but would they?

“Daddy?” Strawberry blonde curls tangling in the wind.

“Yes?” He looked down.

“When is Mommy coming back?”

God, it broke his heart. “Never, baby.”

She started to cry and he knelt, folding her into his arms.

“I’m not going to leave you, Baby. Never, never, ever.”

“Ever?” asked her tiny tear-filled voice.

“Never,” he promised, knowing he was lying, but lying had become his life. How else could he keep her safe, keep his promise?

He rose, holding her in his arms, walking back along the trail which led, eventually, to the house. Hopefully, a safe house, at least for the time.

What do you want for dinner?”


He laughed. “Then chocolate chip pancakes it is.”

“Stuffed full!”

“Stuffed full,” he replied, hiding his own tears.

“I love you, Daddy.”

A hesitation. A catch. “I love you, too, baby. I love you, too.”

He hoped, for today, that would be enough.

The Lost Road

We are all lost. It is impossible for us – the children of despair and love and life not to be lost. This then, is the Lost Road.  If we find the right words or actions or being, maybe one day we too might come to the great green castle and find Oz hiding behind his curtain, working his controls to give us the things we think will break us free.

The Tin Man wanted, and got, a heart which he happily placed inside his chest. A false heart, beautiful to see, but it didn’t change the Tin Man into anything but what he already is, a hollow man who thinks a heart will break him into another world. But fake hearts don’t do that. Nor does false courage, or a fake brain inside a head of straw.

Lost. Maybe we are as lost as Dorothy and her friends. Maybe not.

The truth is, we have no one as powerful, or as fake, whom we might turn to in order to find that which we are seeking. As long as we seek our hopes and desire from a fake world of witches who melt a the touch of water, monkeys who learned how to fly, and even that dropping a house upon an ‘evil’ witch will somehow make us saviors in our world, we are lying to ourselves and to  others.

Lost, however written, never stands up to the finality of being human. We can count on that fact to always remain real. So, what are we searching for in this maze of a world?

Truth?  Love? Wealth? A warm body to keep the world at bay and to remind us we are human? We are loved. We are both fiction and non-fiction and sometimes it is dreadfully hard to know one from the other. So ask yourself this if you dare:

What are you searching for in this maze of a world?  A fake heart? Courage? A brain?  To go to the magical land of Oz where we will overcome all obstacles to becoming great?

Where is your journey headed?  Maybe we can walk together for a little while, remind each other whether we need a fake heart, false courage, or a beautiful tin heart beating quietly into the night.

Friday Fictioneers 3-9-2016


PHOTO PROMPT – © Emmy L Gant



The Place stood empty, air smelling of cold stone and abandonment. How many had died here? How many had been lucky, like me, and escaped? Not that one ever escaped The Place. It was always inside, eating out.

“Jack?” A hand touched my sleeve.

I turned. “I was one of the lucky ones.”

“I know.”

Taking her hand, we walked away. The good ones hadn’t been strong enough to survive. Only the ones like me.

A flash of dark flickered in my eyes and was gone.

“Do you want to stop and grab a bite on the way home?”