One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

September 1, 2013

One Ugly American Reflects On Syria, War, Evil

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Black Eyed Peas, Where is the Love?


I’m not unsympathetic to Syrians in their struggles, sorrows and agonies. I pray for them with this intention: I want and hope the Syrian people (and all people) will enjoy those freedoms which ensure the dignity of the human person AND provide each individual person with every opportunity to love, to live in great virtue and to be a blessing to the world.

That want and hope, I imagine, must be accomplished under the custody of good government and the exceptional exercise of a passionate citizenship. I also imagine that such want and hope must pour from the hearts of the people in that nation that seeks deliverance from evil. In this regard, I am not convinced that the majority of the people of Syria are ready to repent, forgive, and, yes, deliver themselves from evil.

I may be very mistaken in my impression.

I am under this impression because the Syrian people have accepted great evil in their midst for too long.

I am under this impression because I have not seen a million Syrians walk together a long road, non violently and their hearts lifted in love, in search of freedom, justice and righteousness. Nor 100,000. Not even 10,000.

And I would like to believe that if I had seen and heard such a thing, I do not require my government to cast missiles upon the armies of their dark lords. I would like to believe that I have the courage to go there, myself, and join arms with Syrian men, women and children and face evil with love.

Love never fails.

And as Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted with great urgency, we will not overcome evil by doing evil. There is no exception. Period.

Stan Faryna
01 September 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

When was the last time you revisited innocence?

June 17, 2013

Return to Innocence

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Enigma, Return to Innocence

eagle love leadership

Despite (and because) of our fears, tears, wounds, trials and tribulations, we must return to innocence – again and again. We must return to innocence to be truly ourselves. In innocence, there are wonders, joys, gratitude, and joi de vivre.

And by innocence, I do not mean selfish egotism, ignorance, false consciousness, delusion, careless license, or self-deceit. By innocence, I mean, sanctity. Purity of heart.

Enigma’s song, Return to Innocence, reminds me of my need to revisit the place of innocence. And sometimes, the song takes me there. To innocence.

It may take you there too. For a moment. But if it does – even if only for a moment – it will fix you.

Stan Faryna
17 June 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

God is working

May 19, 2013

God is working

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

REM, It’s the end of the world as we know it

In the fearsome face of unprecedented political scandal and tyrannous masquerades behind untenable promises for peace, security and prosperity, scientists argue the risks of x-class solar flares, falling stars, melting glaciers, bee death, epidemic and hyperinflation. We step forward to the brink of a world war and back again, but the leap into the inferno, the fateful decision – it belongs to the ambitions and vanities of a few – none of whom are greater in intelligence, wisdom or virtue than you or I.

It is like watching the perfect storm. The bright flashes dance and shoot across our eyes. The roar, rumble and growl of thunder shakes the world.

Some will lift up their hearts in excitement and anticipation. Others will stay still and quiet. Take cover. We are not masters of our destiny, life, property, and happiness – this is what natural disasters remind us. And man-made disasters (environmental, political, social and economic) – they too remind us of our frailty and vanities.


His lightnings lit up the world;
The earth saw and trembled.

Psalm 97:4

For those who put their faith in their own prudence and capability, they will prepare for the worst. At great cost, effort and sacrifice – if they have any sense of justice, conscience and freedom. The combination of a lack of spiritual hope and a lack of preps is evidence of an inferior intelligence and/or moral character. Such optimism is the refuge of the domesticated and pitiful slave bound by the necessities and envies of today.

For those who drink from the waters of faith, God is working in the storm – regardless of the apparent, invisible, and heart-breaking casualties. Two weeks of preps and certain self-sufficiency is prudent, but the real work is to love strongly (without fear), to give and lift others up (including and beyond our circle of family and friends), and inspire the same duty in the hearts of the human family.

Love shines brightest in the darkness.

I find myself in need of this wisdom. Often.

Maybe, you too?

Holy Land and Old German Tomatoes 1

Stan Faryna
19 May 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Recent blog posts:

How not to Write Poetry

Freedom is Solid

Season 3 Finale of The Walking Dead

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Faryna Mug - love never fails

What super powers did you want? #IAmDisabled

May 9, 2012

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. 

– Matthew 10:8

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

When I was a kid, there were several comic book superheroes at the top of my list: The Mighty Thor, Dr. Strange, Superman, and Spiderman. I even tried to fly – more than once. I had the mistaken assumption that all you had to do was believe. I ran and leapt from the roof of our house.

But I did not fly. [grin]

Five For Fighting, Superman

My intention, however, is not to write about super powers. I’m writing to show my support for Nisha Varghese’s campaign against discrimination. I’m showing up. Because that’s what friends do.

Writes Nisha:

I believe that if we make people understand that we are all the same, discrimination would be a thing of the past.

Nisha reminds us that we are all “disabled” – we all have things we wish we could do, but can’t.

Here’s three things I can’t do, but I wish I could:

1. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.

2. Lift up the hearts of the poor in spirit, those who mourn, hunger and thirst, and those who suffer.

3. Have frequent conversations with God, walk in Beauty, and, yes, to love – strongly, fearlessly and unabashedly.

If you would like to help Nisha in her latest endeavor to do good and change the world for the better, write a related blog post with #IAmDisabled in the title and make a direct link to her blog post about the same:

Stan Faryna
09 May 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Hidden treasures in the midst of small things

May 1, 2012

Hidden treasures in the midst of small things

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I have looked down from mountain tops, breathlessly. I have looked down from my little window in business class, looked down upon the clouds, and sighed at their beauty. I have moved over the waters – riding upon the wind. I have danced and slipped around icy, white sharp-turns in the midst of mighty pines falling sleep as they prayed. The soft snowflakes fell as big as gumballs. The stillness and quiet was divine- interrupted only by the whine of the downshift.


Johann Sebastien Bach, Cello Suite No. 1. Performed by Pablo Casals

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May 1, 2012

Where’s LOVE?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

It’s 5:30am and I can barely keep my eyes open. I had fallen asleep only three hours ago. The window is open and the cool night-air is refreshing. I dreamt of Lisa again – the first great love of my life. Dreams of her are never gladly received. Because it’s always about how it will never work. Us, I mean. Love, I mean. An ambulance siren howls on the streets of Bucharest as doves cry.

Black Eye Peas, Where is the Love?

I haven’t dreamt of Lisa since I met my ex-wife- eleven years ago. I was so relieved when I had stopped dreaming of Lisa! That was one of many signs to me that my ex-wife was the one. Because the dreams were always about my unrequited love for Lisa.

It wasn’t that Lisa didn’t love me when we were together. It just wasn’t true and everlasting love. Her heart was not pure. That was not her fault. She was a broken cup and the love that I poured into her – it emptied through her broken-ness.

I could say the same for my ex-wife. Another broken cup. That’s her problem – not mine. But right now, I’m worried that my heart has become like a broken cup. And that is my problem.

Roosters crow. One crows and then another and then yet another. I look out the window to across the street and admire the abandoned mansion, the rusted copper rooftop and the aristocratic architectural elements. It’s a fixer upper if ever I saw one. Perhaps to the tune of two or three million- if it’s done properly.

I imagine what it would be like to be over there (five years from now) and looking back across the street to this window – remembering the years I worked at my desk (where I am) and every now and then how I looked with longing at that mansion. It will never be mine. But it always belonged to me. Just like the apartment I occupy.

I lack the architectural language to adequately describe the elements of the mansion across the street. The architectural style is French Neo-classical. I’m guessing that it was built in the late 1800s. It’s walls are brick (two feet thick) and covered with smooth concrete and concrete decorations: shields, columns, cornices, and more.

I called her Freckle-milk in a poem. Lisa’s beauty was not beyond compare, but she was the only girl for me – as long as she was mine. But if she gave herself to another, even for a moment, she could never be mine again. That reminds me of the first commandment in the Decalogue.

You shall not bow down to [idols] or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

I understand the God of Abraham and Moses. I have known His anguish and His unrequited love for humanity. The scale, of course, is immeasurably different as it is poignantly relative. The ten commandments are not ordinary rules – when broken, ordinary rules give decisive and unfair advantage. Together, the ten commandments represent a Law that does not deprive us of happiness or dignity. Or destiny.

Breaking the Divine law, we break ourselves. We become broken. Like magnificent fixer uppers which shall only be repaired at great expense.

Without the ten commandments, in fact, there is neither love, faith nor hope – nothing that lasts. They define what love is. They are love. Without the ten commandments, there is no love.

I know too what it is to be an unfaithful friend and lover, again and again. I know too what it is  to want the second, the third, and the one hundred millionth chance to come back into the grace of Love and receive goodness, beauty and truth – again.

Torn plastic flutters in the broken windows of the mansion across the street. Below, a car roars down the street at 100 mph. It’s a 35-ish mph residential zone. It sounds like a tall wave crashing across a sandy beach. An owl is hooting nearby.

Do you wonder, just as I wonder, why love does not abide in the broken heart? Do you ever wonder if your heart can be mended so that love may spill over (and fill others) but never again empty out through our broken-ness?

Do you ever ask yourself, where is the love? The love in you – I mean.

Stan Faryna
01 May 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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Feeling good is all that matters. And other bad advice.

April 14, 2012

Feeling good is all that matters. And other bad advice.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

In a recent blog post about how to become a better writer, Jack writes, “Just write.”
That’s what I’m doing.
Thomas Aquinas, Pange Lingua. Performed by Coro de Cámara Abadía.
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