Maya Angelou – Being a gift unto others #rise

May 29, 2014

I fed upon her words

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

She stood shoulders above

She was no god, priestess, queen, diplomat nor elected official, but Maya Angelou exercised the greatest of all powers in creation. She could speak a word and it was done. She was blessed from above like few others. I may be mistaken but I understood her power came by faith and grace.

I also understood that this gentle woman moved mountains with her words. She spoke to stones and they beat again as hearts – even if only for a moment.

Ordinarily, I would join the world in it’s gentle wish for rest for a beloved. But I can not say RIP Maya Angelou. Do not misunderstand me, I have the greatest respect for the woman. Instead, my heart shouts out in joy – RISE HIGHER. RISE UNTO THE GLORY! And I do not believe there is rest in the glory. But greater works. Like the works of stars. Works that never end. Because without their undying light, darkness would overcome.

Michael Jackson

I remember her eulogy for Michael Jackson, “We had him.” I remember how she perfectly captured the memory of the king of pop – that tragic, tortured, brave-hearted hero of our time.

“His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.”

I do not know if poets will capture Maya Angelou as she captured Michael Jackson with words that memorialize a man like no stone or gold could ever have done.

How shall we rise?

I do not know if it can be said of her that we had her. Oh, please, please do not misunderstand me. She gave herself to us. She gave us fire, wind, water, air and earth. She told us to unfold our unseen wings. But only those who had ears to listen, heard her. Only those who had eyes to see, saw Maya Angelou. Only those who had ears, heard.

Though I am not a woman or African American. I rose upon her words. And still I rise. She spoke to us all.

Though I am not a woman, she reminded me that I am phenomenal, that my smile shines like the sun and, most of all, that my head, heart and spirit shall not be oppressed by demonic contempt and conceits.

Be a gift unto others

Maya Angelou was gift unto us. That is her greatest gift; it goes beyond the beating of words. She embodied a rare and precious wisdom.

Our gifts are not given for us to enjoy alone, recklessly or stupidly. We were created to be gifts unto each other. This is how we rise. We rise, together.

 

Stan Faryna
28 May 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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Mr. Jones and Me, we’re gonna be big stars

March 13, 2013

Mr. Jones and Me, we’re gonna be big stars

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna
Counting Crows, Mr. Jones

I have struggled to find and share beauty through this blog. And I have failed. Often and persistently. A hundred or so failures for each paltry success. On the other hand, the traffic is fine – I remember when I also bemoaned having less than 10,000 readers in a month.

This is not a tragedy.

This is a joke. [grin]

But I am not joking! My effort and lack of success is the joke. Blogging is a comedy – sooner or later.

Laugh with me.

This is a ridiculous adventure. Absurd. Don Quixote is less foolhardy and he is lesser the fool. But I can not help myself. Perhaps, you find yourself in a similar predicament – unable to stop some foolishness or other. And if, perchance, you did or do…

Smile with me.

My failure as a blogger reminds me also of my failure as a novelist.

Laugh with me. Please.

My conceits are as boundless as my ambitions. And, perhaps, yours too. If so, laughter shall be our greatest solace.

Which brings me to Milan Kundera – a handsome man in a brutal manner. His face is fit for a Federal period scultpture.

The Czech author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera, explains in his The Art of the Novel, that what defines a novel most of all is that it asks important, eternal and urgent questions.

Kundera recommends Don Quixote, a 17th (?) Century novel, written by Miguel de Cervantes. What I remember of the story, it asks, do I belong in a world in which virtues are irrelevant?

My unfinished novel passionately rejects Cervantes’ question. If we are here, then we belong here . Obviously, here is inescapable.

Even at the end of the world! Even in the midst of outrageous fortune, death, desperation, pain, fear and disappointment.

Or hell.

If you’re in hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill said that. Right?

If Mr. Churchill is right, how exactly do we keep going?

The enquiry does not recommend finis humanevitae. Instead, it leads me to further questions.

They are not original questions, however. But they may resonate in the human heart. And I must admit that it’s very possible that no answer shall fully satisfy our curiosity, desperation and hope.

Who am I?

What can I hope for?

What must I do (not knowing – with any certainty – who I am and what I can hope for)?

Perhaps, writing them for you here – makes you want to click away. But if you ever sat or lay upon the ground with salty tears streaming down your face – don’t go yet.

Because I approach these timeless questions as they present themselves through opportunities and defeats on unwitting adventures of self discovery and our clumsy exploration of the world, others and the sacred. I search for these opportunities and defeats within the context of the human drama with all the passion, confusion, sound and fury of our experience as persons.

So, yes, there are explosions, the crack of an axe on exploding concrete, sex, love, hate, and everything else.

But I remain afraid to finish the work. I postpone yet another failure to connect, share, contribute to a community of servant hearts, and, ultimately, collaborate with others – to make this a better world and a world of we.

I remain afraid to fail yet again. As if I could pick and choose my failures!

Obviously, we do not.

I’m also reminded of some lines from a song by the Counting Crows, Mr. Jones.

Believe in me.
Help me believe in anything.
Cause I want to be someone who believes [that we can make a better world]

Yeah!

Yeah – keep going.

Stan Faryna
12 March 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Other Social Media DOHs

When your best is suck

Insane Loyalty and other social media DOHs

Cowardice will speak loudly 

All that Glitters : A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

November 10, 2012

All that Glitters is not Gold

A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette

by Stan Faryna and Brandy Hupperich Renfroe

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

OMEGA GUILD FILE no. 0maa110912

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Rihanna, Diamonds

All that glitters - A Marvel Avengers Alliance Graphic Novelette Read the rest of this entry »


They Made The NYT Best Blog List: @TheJackB, @StartYourNovel and @SmartBoyDesigns

April 19, 2012

They Made The NYT Best Blog List: @TheJackB, @StartYourNovel and @SmartBoyDesigns

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

The NYT Best Blog List is widely considered the preeminent list of blogs everywhere. Published weekly, the list is based on weekly reader reports from independent, online search and analytics. Readership measurement includes key signals in a given week: number of readers, time spent reading, mentions, reach, and other factors believed to reflect a blog’s currency. The list includes 100 categories including popular genres such as daddy bloggers, fiction and social media.

Gramatik, Dream BIG

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Science suggests that RTs, #FFs, Comments, Links, Etc. Are Highly Intelligent Behaviors!

April 13, 2012

Science suggests that RTs, #FFs, Comments, Links, Etc. Are Highly Intelligent Behaviors!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Human intelligence presents certain challenges to how evolutionary biologists and armchair Darwinians attempt to explain how intelligence is selected. In fact, the wild-eyed speculations of the natural selection species of argument do not provide much insight. However, deep thinkers and scientists are giving more and more consideration to the social intelligence argument that suggests that higher intelligence is selected through the increasingly sophisticated demands of social interactions, human ambition, and culture.

The emphasis, of course, is on the increasing survivability (and flourishing) of those who effectively cooperate, collaborate, and mind share.

Said Albert Einstein on the subject:

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

All of which suggests that social media activities (retweets, #FFs, comments, curated links, etc.) are highly intelligent behaviors. Moreover, these social media behaviors contribute to increasing human intelligence across the species.

With greater intelligence, we may all hope for progress, freedom, and happiness. And not as fools will hope!

This may also explain why it is so hard for an intelligent and insightful nobody such as myself to get 100 RTs per week, 100 comments per blog post, or, perhaps, to be curated in a link.

An amusing explanation has been offered by a friend: our highly intelligent followers are operating a few intelligent points less than the highly-active curators, commenters, and practitioners of reciprocity. [grin]

Myself included – of course.

A brief clip from National Geographic’s “Ape Genius” documentary

Notes:

My novel speculation on the role of social media in the natural selection for higher intelligence is based on the research of Luke McNally, Sam P. Brown, and Andrew L. Jackson, Cooperation and the evolution of intelligence, as it appears in the Proceedings B of the Royal Society, a prestigious biological research journal.

Stan Faryna
13 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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The days of the sith are numbered #lolcats

April 4, 2012

The days of the sith are numbered

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Sometimes, a smile is as good as a glance of sunshine. A hot cup of brisk tea or a foamy latte, a plate of scones and savories, and maybe the television going on for a little background noise. And we can make much ado about nothing. Because we are friends.

Sith Lord Cat vs. Pitbull

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Social Savvy: How Social Media Is Changing the World For The Better

March 26, 2012

How Social Media Is Changing the World For The Better

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Beyond the marketing and personal branding opportunity of social media, social media is epic when it connects us, brings people together in compassion and dignity, and when it reunites us with the human family.

The most recent example is a Facebook campaign launched by Pushpin Mehina.

Michael Jackson, They Don’t Care About Us

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