Thursday, February 17, 2011

Echoing "The Metamorphosis," "Letters to a Young Poet," and "The Little Prince".

This is my longest blog as of to date. To Those People Who want to know more about me.. READ ON....
 
I may honestly say that I’m not the most responsible and most cynical person to understand the true and deep meaning of such great and famous works like The Metamorphosis, Letters to a young poet and The Little Prince. But as a person, I have my own perspectives, my own understanding of things, my own interpretation and view regarding things, well that is what philosophy is all about isn’t? So for this blog entry , I tam to resonate my own experiences with these three incomparable works in world literature and I plan of making this blog very open and personal as well. Here goes…

                                     photo: amazon.com

Metamorphosis is one of the most famous works in world literature, and possibly has the most memorable opening lines in the history of story telling, “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect”. For me, my interpretation of this allegorical tale is that Gregor's transformation from hard working travelling salesman, providing for his family, to a grotesque useless insect that provokes disgust and pity and ultimately rejection by his family, represents physical disability, and society's treatment of it. I can see this in the story, but his nightmare of the barrier between the public and personal inner world being removed. The private mental life, with its sensitive and raw secrets, its ugly and embarrassing little features, the desires and instincts that we strive to keep hidden, and are forced to repress. The bug is the embodiment of the ugly and raw inside turned out, exposed for the entire world to see. Particularly nightmarish for Gregor is the fact that those who see are those he loves and whose rejecton he fears most of all, his family. For me, the best example that I can relate to this is when I came out to my family, to my friends, to the society as a gay person. It was really hard for me to come out because I was afraid to be rejected, to be looked down by other people, to be pitied by everyone, and to be a disappointment to them. I was so afraid to be open because before I came out and admitted to everyone that I am gay, I am like Gregor Samsa. I was the “BIDA” in the family because when I was in high school, I was a good student; I excel both in my academics and technical subjects in school, a consistent conduct awardee, and part of the class top 10 students for my whole highschool life. I was afraid to tell them because I don’t want them to change the way they look at me and treat me, I don’t want them to be distant. Another thing that’s stopping me before was, my family is somehow known. I knew that I am gay since grade 2 and I kept it until I was in 4th year high school, actually my older sister is the only one in the family that knows about me, and she accepted me without hesitations, she supported me with my interests and endeavors at that time she was enough for me, but as time passes by I was longing for my parents and other family members to accept me. I have attempted to tell my family about my true being but the factors I’ve mentioned above kept on impeding it to happen. For eight years of hiding my true self, I felt very lonely, sad and guilty. Lonely and sad because I can’t show my family the things I REALLY want, the things I’m fond of doing, I can’t share what I truly feel, I can’t show and tell them what bothers me because I was so afraid. I also felt guilty for lying to my family, for being untrue to them and to myself as well. I kept asking myself… why the hell did I end up like this? Am I screwed or what? For eight long years I felt I was living a big lie and that my life was all about pretensions and lies. 


                      photo from: smartshopbuy.com

My sister told me that I must tell my family soon in order for me to get out of the dark which I’ve been living for eight years. It hit me and led me to asked my self… must I? and this is where the first letter of Rilke enters the picture. For me the first letter gives the greatest advice anyone can give to someone aspiring to be anything and to do anything. You have to ask yourself the following question: "must I?" If you answer in the affirmative, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour must become a sign and witness to this impulse. That you must only judge Art by the following value, has it arisen out of necessity? And for me, telling my family at that time was a necessity already. I was already a teen back then, and I was starting to mold my life, I was starting to think of my future, but how can I think of my future if I haven’t polished my present. I got tired with my situation, my sister can’t already bear to see me sad and feel bad about myself and it hurts me to see her feel that way especially when I’m the reason, my friends were also the one who keeps on pushing me to tell the truth. I also consulted our school priests about it and asked him what to do, asked him to tell God that I need him everyday of my life and asked him to tell God not to leave me and if ever I decide to tell my family about me being gay, I asked God to please give them an open mind and also a heart that will accept me as I am. The sixth letter of Rilke concerns the notion of solitude. He said that we all create a vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself for hours without meeting anyone, that is what you must be able to attain. Through this Rilke added that we gain a child-like perspective, a great wise not understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn of adults. That is what I did, it led me to think a lot, led me to reflect so much, led me to many sleepless night and led me to be alone and lonely. He also said that, it’s within the vast ocean of your solitude that we can truly approach and understand the dimensions of divinity that exists. With all of my problems and worries at that time, I find God as the source of my strength, I considered him to be my diary wherein I can share and tell him everything, and I appreciated him more.  How do you confront God? By being patient and without bitterness, and realize that the least I can do is make coming into existence no more difficult for Him than the earth does for spring when it wants to come. With all of this, I got the strength and determination to tell my family. The first one I opened my sexuality to was my mom, because we are so close and I felt that somehow she knows already. She was okay about it but warned me with the consequences of being a homosexual. Then my other sisters, they were not that open with the idea of me being gay because I was the only son in our family, I totally understand them but it hurts me so much whenever they badmouth me and criticize me when we fight about things, somehow they also became cold towards me, they don’t bond with me anymore like we used to and my only source of strength was my eldest sister. News easily spread out, my dad eventually knew about it, he was so disappointed. I felt that he disowned me as his son because when he knew about it, he wasn’t talking to me, he doesn’t even look at me and did not even spare a little time to bond with me, then my cousins knew they were shocked about it, the girls were happy about it but the guys were ashamed of me. We used to be closed before, go to malls, eat together and talk about almost everything but after they knew of me being gay, everything changed! And it broke my heart; it brought me more pain… I asked myself if I did the right thing or not… it took them years to accept me and at present my dad is already okay with the idea of me being gay, even my other sisters, my cousins are also cool about it now but one person who hasn’t grasped the idea of me being gay is my grandfather. He knows about it but rejected to accept it, I was one of his favorites before. He used to bring me all over the world from the United States, Europe and all over Asia when I was still a child and buy all the things I want. But as the news flew in to him, he got so furious, he even fought with my dad and told him that he will disown and disinherit me. I was so depressed… thinking, is this the life I want? I reflected a lot and concluded that this is my life, I can do whatever I want with it, that I don’t live in this world in order to please others but to please myself, be happy with myself and be proud of what I am. I think Rilke’s seventh letter is suitable with this situation in which he takes the notion of solitude and marries it with love. He said love is difficult, but that we must put our trust in what is difficult as Nature does, to exercise our beings to their fullness. With all the rejection and pains I have encountered to this journey of coming out, it was hard for them to accept me, and I think it was hard for them to even give the love they have given me before. That is why I should be the one to love them more, instead of me waiting in solitude I shifted it to love. The act of Loving another human being is the most difficult task for which all other work is mere preparation. It was hard for me to give them love at first because they hurt me so damn much, but I have prepared myself with that kind of situation that even proved my love for them. Each of us must learn how to love. To know that it springs from our oceans of solitude not from a formless merging of ourselves to another. But rather that each of us must ripen into individuals that can experience and give love, to hearken and hammer day and night. To Love is to accept a burden and apprenticeship that allows each authentic person to grow and become rather than fall back and lose what makes them unique and rare. The ultimate aim of life is the love that consists two solitudes that protect and border and greets each other. 

                              photo from: goodreads.com
That is what I have turned into, a wounded-healer which I have already shared with you in my past blogs and if you remember I sighted a part of my personal diary about this. I can relate this part in one of the most famous lines in The Little Prince, as it states: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. For me being a wounded healer as I have transformed into is a great example for this line for it tackles the importance of the heart than the eye, it tackles what the heart encompasses than the eye.  A wounded healer is a person who has gone through suffering, sometimes great, and as a result of that process I become a source of great wisdom, healing power and inspiration for others. In fact, I've gone through a transformation as a result of my wounds, my suffering and pain. I can actually transcend it, and successfully lead myself to a path of service. It is as if the wound itself helps me drive myself to an inner journey that becomes the transformation itself. But for me it, gives freedom and hope. It may no longer be trendy but for me it was life. I began to realize that I was called to share out of vulnerability, not strength. It began to permeate every part of my life. I no longer had to pretend they I had it all. It allowed me to bring into play other important facates of my belief system. Like vulnerability, raw, real, imperfection, and transparency. In finding my own strengths, I help other people to grow stronger. In providing strength for others, I strengthen myself. Another line from the Little Prince that I can correlate with this part of my paper is: What makes the desert beautiful? Is that somewhere it hides a well. A lot of people tell me that I have a nice personality and that I’m approachable, friendly etc. Some also says that my character is mysterious and deep and that my overall personality is vast and unpredictable, I can connect my personality to the beautiful dessert that was mentioned in the line from the Little Prince, and the well that it mentioned I can say that it is the experiences that I have encountered in my life that really made a big impact leading for me to a transformation to a better person and that this well is as deep as the experiences that I have encountered. 

 At present, here I am… living a happy, colorful, creative and gay life.

4 comments:

  1. Ehem... well... after a few minutes of reading your blog entry... ehem... here is my comment... for me... there is nothing wrong of being gay for as long as you know how to hadle your self... just be who you are in the most comfortable way as you can... peaople will love you... trust me... just be a normal gay...

    wala lang...makacomment lang... kunwari naiitindihan kita,....

    ehehehhe...

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ musingan...

    i actually wrote this a few years ago.... as i said, at present im living a happy, colorful, creative and gay life. anyway, thanks for the comment! :)

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