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Annoyed: Not Devoid

Feelings…nothing more than feelings…why the heck did those lyrics and that melody just come into my head? It didn’t forcefully come into my head, but strange enough, out of nowhere, it now plays itself over and over again in my head like a broken record.

And just now, the mental image of people passed out in chairs, empty booze bottles littered across a living room floor – cigarette ash singing holes in a rug. And, don’t forget that record player – it’s playing over and over again – but nobody is listening to the words and nobody is listening to the music.

Man, I don’t even know what those 1st 2 paragraphs are supposed to mean, but there they are – words coherently strung together in the conveyance of an obscure message. Maybe though, the first 2 paragraphs are an attempt to identify with the title ‘Annoyed, not Devoid’. After all, the sound of a broken record is annoying – it frustrates the mind, dulls the mind, and diminishes the spirit.

But I think, though, that the title, regardless of the 1st 2 paragraphs is about feeling annoyed (a precursor to the emotional expression of anger). But what about human annoyance, who cares anyway? It’s just annoyance.

What if I am only feeling annoyed? And if I were to tell you that I am feeling annoyed, would you come back at me and say “No, you’re angry and you don’t deal well with your anger do you? In fact, what I see is rage”. I mean, really, if I say I am feeling annoyed or was annoyed by a situation, that’s exactly how I was feeling. Any injected exaggeration of that feeling by the stretch of your imagination is only the stretch of your imagination and may well be a projected representation of your anger.

And what if I firmly believe that I am only annoyed? Are you going to punish me for not experiencing a more extreme form of anger because I am supposed to be young and stupid? The next thing that’s going to happen may well be a staring match between two stubborn children on a playground. And guess what, I’ll smile first because I don’t care how good you think you are at pretending to stare – you’re lousy at staring.

And all of this talk of annoyance and staring, it’s a representation of internal feeling – the feeling that there is still something inside that makes me feel full; not devoid, not detached, not empty. Sure, sometimes there is an inferno inside that feels like a Star about to go Supernova, but it is controllable. I can hold it with my hands, externally, imaginarily, feeling the outer edges without the need to throwaway or extinguish. I don’t feel devoid, I feel annoyed. Do you really want to try and push me toward an internal implosion or a vast and empty abyss? Do you want my tongue to protrude outward, involuntarily, as an unexpected, statistically improbable (but possible) side-effect?

Annoyed, not devoid. I am not empty, only angry in the mildest sense. Ahhhh…the state of equilibrium – now that is annoying.

Anyone want to discuss feeling annoyed or devoid? It’s important.  

Matthew Polkinghorne

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