Confessions of a freak-geek-misfit and time agent in exile.
by Stan Faryna
This blog post and podcast includes adult language used in a sparing but strong manner. If you are offended by adult language, check out the other podcasts linked at the bottom of this blog post.
When we bring light to darkness, some things must be said. Otherwise, the light cannot penetrate.
Play the soundcloud player to hear the podcast. It sounds awesome with earphones or played on hi-fi speakers.
Mobile users: you should be able to hear the podcast here.
Stacey Herbert’s blog post on DIY Blogger NET inspired a dozen or more of heart-warming human stories from some of the most amazing bloggers out there. And it wasn’t just the blog posts that were awesome, the comments were often just as warming, just as inspiring, and – healing – as the blog posts.
I enjoyed all of them.
I’d list and link everyone who participated, but that’s a job for Stacey and Dino Dogan. <grin> Actually, I want to keep this blog post shorter than the last, so please forgive me for not listing you – if you one of the #NA posters. I think you all are rockstars.
I want to talk about the #NA post that shook my heart. Marianne Worley’s Growing Up in the Cupboard Under the Stairs. The title is a reference to Harry Potter.
“If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter books and movies, you know that the orphaned Harry lived with his aunt, uncle, and cousin (the Dursleys) for the first 10 years of his life. He was relegated to the cupboard under the stairs until he found out he was a wizard—a most unusual boy indeed.
Like Harry, I’m a most unusual girl.”
Like Marianne and Harry, I’m a most unusual person. Like Marianne, it seems I am a Muggle – regardless of all the evidence to the contrary.
Marianne always felt different and it was a painful for her to feel so different – especially as a child. I can only suppose that she has negotiated some terms of peace with this discrepancy. Because, for example, Marianne brings unusual integrity to her blogging. Yet, she still must ache. Marianne still must feel different. Otherwise, she would not have brought this gift to the table. Not now.
Quoting the Desiderata, my first or second comment to Marianne was that she has a right to be here – just as the trees and the stars. But I kept going back to her blog post. And I didn’t know why. Of course, I was subscribed to the post and I was getting noticed every time a new comment would be added. But, the thing is, I don’t usually follow the comments of a blog post. Yes, shame on me! <grin> But I couldn’t help myself this time.
And, at last, I found myself making a comment that surprised me. And if someone hadn’t interrupted me at my laptop, I would not have pushed the button to send the comment. The comment was made and there it was. And the typos screamed to the whole wide world that I had just tripped over some serious luggage. And I’m not talking about Louis Vuitton. <grin>
I also feel different. A misfit. A trouble maker. In some ways, a prodigal and negligent son. In fact, I just found out recently that I am an illegal alien. But how shall I leave my son behind – especially – in the third world?
Beyond this, I am different on so many levels. I have always been so.
Through Marianne’s blog post, I have become aware of how much I have done to disguise that difference – not to mention the many passionate negotiations to be a creative, productive, and responsible member of society. I have negotiated as much of the gap between myself and society as I possibly could. I believe the latter is growing up. The former, self-deception.
I have restrained passions, negotiated aspirations, and kept secret my intimate visions and the knowledge of things that others could merely hope to believe. Again, some of that is about growing up. But I cannot avoid that there was also – oh so much… self-defeat.
Parents are silly
I remember at age ten, watching my father set fire to my prize-winning drawings along with everything else I had ever drawn. In a steel drum – outside the house. He wanted to put an end to this misapplication of my time. After all, wasn’t there firewood that needed to be chopped? Or other home or farm chores that I was never finishing to the satisfaction of his schedule.
Ironically, the best mother in the world, my mom, told me at 18 that if I accepted a scholarship to study art in college – that I would grow up to become a poor artist. More importantly, I would do so – without a mother. Period.
But I cannot blame my mother or father for my failure to become an artist later on in life. And I can – also appreciate that the artist in me came to be expressed by other means: writing, thinking, and, perhaps, even prayer. Thus I was made stronger through many gifts. Nor should I fail to mention that I have enjoyed the satisfaction of commissioning artists and craftsmen to produce my various industrial designs and artistic aspirations for oil and sculpture.
Some things are as unavoidable as they are inevitable. What is meant to be will be. One way or another. Period. <smile>
Kids are silly
As I mentioned in my comment to Marianne, I am the product of a mixed race marriage. My father is American. My mother is Korean. I grew up (mostly) in Northern Virginia –it’s not quite the good ole South today but the 70s was challenging by many accounts. Getting off the school bus on the first day of first grade sucked. I found out that I was a “gook” and I got pelted with a dozen eggs. It wasn’t that last time I would be egged either.
I spent at least half of elementary school in the corner of a classroom with a paper cone for a hat. On it was written, Dunce. Because I was an emotional case. I kicked the ass of any kid that called me gook or made an asian-related insult- regardless of age, size, or sex.
Years later, I would find myself on the family dairy farm in upstate New York. My mixed heritage wasn’t quite as intelligible to them. Anyway, they thought I looked Mexican. I got the nickname, Chico, and that started a whole new war. One city boy against a lot of farm boys. And it took some time, some defeat, and pain before I could whoop farm boy ass. Even when I was better matched (from all those chores of course), I didn’t always win. Or win the minimum respect I fought for.
As I mentioned in my comment to Marianne, I didn’t have a fighting spirit. Actually, I was shy and sensitive. I was soft spoken and loyal. I day-dreamed. I was an artist, a poet, and an aspiring writer – even at a young age. Fighting was what I had to do- after patience and gentleness would prove futile every time.
Adulthood is silly
My first paying job in politics was so hard that after work I went to church and had at least a 15 minute, loud cry before coming home. Every day! Then I got home and did more work. I worked 16 to 20 hours per day for slightly above minimum wage. My boss hated me!
Amy Moritz told Shirley Temple to take a flying fuck when Shirley wanted to help out in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan. So you can almost imagine what kind of troll she is – God bless her.
Ok- I won’t get into the almost daily humiliations and compromises of conscience I had to negotiate at that office. But I wrongly assumed that the problem was mostly mine. Because I was different. Because I cared about what I was doing. After all I was naïve , i.e., I was doing it for the right reasons.
Fast forward. In the better course of my career as an entreprenuer, two major institutions stole software that I had licensed to them – software that was created by me or by my companies. Software worth tens of millions of dollars. And those assholes grinned from behind the best lawyers that money could buy.
Initially, I blamed myself. Because may be there was something wrong about me. Because I was different.
But you know what. stealing is stealing. It’s that simple. And the idea that stealing is fundamentally wrong and misanthropic… has been around for a long, long time.
So fuck you, Roy Willis of the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). You fucked up a lot of people and families under my care. May God rebuke you – if you fail to make full and sincere amends.
And fuck you, Stuart Flatow, Vice President of PERC. With all that pot you were smoking on that fat paycheck, you should have been a good guy – not a long-tongue… liar and greasy backbiter.
Today, it feels very good to be different. To be honest. To speak from the heart. Even if on occasion – from the dark side of my heart.
I am silly
All that pain and disappointment (and from many other undisclosed events) has opened my heart to others – opened it in ways that would not be opened otherwise. Those things all had to be. They had to happen to me… for me to become more truly me.
And, more importantly, it has not always been “the them” that has forced me to painfully come to awareness and understanding of me. Because I have harmed myself, lied to myself, and broken my own heart. Yes, there are things for which I can not forgive myself.
Like Roy hopes when he goes down on his knees in search of forgiveness, I hope that God can work it out for me because I cannot man up to some things too.
I was seven or eight and I didn’t buy a flower from an elderly gypsy lady in downtown Atlanta. It was raining. She was sick. I had the dollar in my pocket, but I wanted to keep it for myself. I tried to get my mother and father to buy a flower, but they didn’t agree. Once in the car and the car was moving, I realized that I had no heart. And I wept bitterly.
For hours. But it may have even been days. It was the beginning of my moral conscience and a profound compassion for the world. But if only I could be healed. If only I could find that woman and make it right. My universe would not be forever broken. By me.
Are we different? Really?
I understand beyond any doubt that we are not different. Each of us is true or untrue to our perfect form. Among other wonderful things, there is a true solidarity in that perfect form. We are connected at the level of our design. We are here and we exist for each other.
I know this is too much information.
We discover our true form, little by little, more or less, some faster than others -together in love, in service to each other, and in giving to each other. We discover our true ourselves and each other – in love, in sharing, and lifting each other up. In leading and following. In making a difference. In making this a world of we.
It’s happening right now. I almost can’t believe it. And I am in awe that it is happening- despite me. Despite our so-called differences. Despite all our pride in our false sense of self.
It is evidenced in the yearning of servant hearts like Nisha Varghese – a South African woman unable to walk and barely able to use one hand, who makes sandwiches for the poor and raises funding for clean water projects.
It is evidenced in the yearning of servant leaders like Dr. Jack King – a retired military officer who tirelessly reminds us that leadership is not about power, popularity or force. It is about love and service and giving.
This too is something that only the heart can see. The human heart. Can you see it?
Are you trying to see it?
8 August 2011
Faryna Podcasts recently produced by Adrian Klein:
1. Why do I blog: Faryna Podcast EP1
4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: Faryna Podcast EP4
5. Are You Ready for Love? Faryna Podcast EP5
6. Reading The Desiderata. Faryna Podcast EP6
7. What is Love? Faryna Podcast EP7
Faryna Podcast EP8 Information
Confessions of a freak-geek-misfit and time agent in exile by Stan Faryna. ©2011 Some Rights Reserved.
Produced by Adrian Klein. http://www.adrianklein.co.uk
Music by Adrian Klein. All Rights Reserved.
Friend and female vocalist: Ana Bancescu