The Lilith Blog

March 3, 2021 by

Can I Be Angry?

Panel of a girls with a brown hat and red cheeks from the 1920's. Text says: No one cared when my grandmother was angry. She buried it deep inside and carried it everywhere with her.
Panel with illustration of girl from the 1950's. Text says: My grandmother cared when my mother was angry. She was punished for it.
Panel with illustration of an older woman with brown hair in the foreground laughing. In the background, there's a girl with blond hair glaring at her. The text says: In the face of my anger, my mother laughed. Overjoyed that her daughter has the space to be angry.
Panel with illustration of angry girl with "Cats" t-shirt, her fists raised. The text says: I thought she was laughing at me.
Panel with illustration of a bearded man with shoulders raised and hands in fists. Text says: I learned how to be angry from my father.
Panel with illustration of older man wearing a pageboy cap. Text says: His father traded anger for neglect.
Panel with illustration of sitting boy with yellow hockey jersey. Text says: So my father was alone with his.
Panel with illustration of a watercolor red circle with a line going to the bottom of the panel. Text says: My anger begins small. I say to it, "shhh, go away."
Red watercolor circle grows to two in the panel, with intersecting lines. The text says: But it rarely listens. It finds old, tenter spots that feed it. It grows...
Panel with illustration of two watercolor red balls, now with a blue line injecting blue into one of the globes. Text says: I can only be angry if I am entirely in the right. So a little voice begins.
The abstract images evolve into three interconnected circles, now with two the color blue. The text sats: "What did I do wrong?" "How am I bad?"
Now the two blue circles dominate the panel, with a smaller red circle not at the bottom. The text says: Until the anger disappears. Subsumed by guilt.

Rebecca Katz is an artist and educator. You can follow her at @katzcomics.