The innocence and genuine quality of his habitual efforts are almost always overlooked. Witty, friendly, a willing giver of hugs at any given frequency, often laying his own safety and future aside for others, he pours his heart and soul into energetically and silently screaming at the world that he's everything he claims to be and more. In some ways, there is a meticulous process to his actions, yet intermingled are moments of spontaneity that derive from the very same passions that motivate him.
Sadly, for most, he is scary. He's loud, abrasive, jagged, and uncouth. Almost overly animated and abstract, he approaches nearly every situation causing others to flinch or recoil. He's at fault for trying too hard, yet his persistence is obvious. So why is he so misunderstood? The old adage says, "It's the thought that counts," but how that is perceived is absolutely relative. If he's truly pure in his intention, that will mean nothing when deemed impure by those around him. Judgment is a cruel beast and carried out by every single living human in one way or another. For him, it's a minute-by-minute experience on levels some won't experience in a lifetime.
L'Ange du Foyer (The Fireside Angel) by Max Ernst (1891-1976) is the painting of such a man. Known as one of the great Dada and Surrealism artists of his time, Ernst portrays a vivid creature in a moment of joyous expression. Seemingly alive and grinning, the individual bursts with color, leading with a determined gape of his mouth and a pleasant squint of his eyes, and showing no regard for how he may appear. By human standards, he is, in some ways, horrifying yet ultimately fascinating. He embodies movement and attention-getting displays, yet cannot avoid aesthetic imperfections that may be perfect for him, but uncomfortable for others.
L'Ange du Foyer is roughly translated to mean, "The Angel of the Home (or Hearth)", and is a poignant way of defining the aforementioned man. In some ways—and if taken literally—this angel could easily watch over someone's home with success. Yet, for the home owner, this angel could be a bit too much to take. It calls into question why we as humans, at times, feel unduly exhausted by someone's persona. Shouldn't it always be about who that person is from the heart?
A comment was made to the man that it seemed highly unlikely others could not find him as appealing as the person speaking to him. He chuckled and brushed off the compliment; not to be thankless, but because he knew all too well how others have already treated him. He's been hurt countless times by the comments and actions of those around him, and at varying moments in his life. Yet, each day, he continues to display his true personality, never giving up or forsaking who he is at his very core. He refuses to give in to the pressure to be a certain way that others dictate. Why should he?
Indeed, over time, his antics in the eyes of others—efforts in his eyes—have been shunned and even reprimanded, but as time has gone by, he's learned. He's aged. He's gained wisdom. He's found acceptance and success. Perhaps some may feel it's a little too late, but for him, it's magnificent and humbling. Oh yes, his celebratory reactions are just as bright as his every-day actions, and even those have garnered some dissension. But he hasn't changed. He won't change! In time, he'll slow down with each passing year, but that's purely physical. His heart, however, will remain the fantasy he's harbored and passionately shared with anyone who wished to see it. For that is something no one can or will ever take away from him. And until that heart is recognized for what it really is, he will remain the surreal, uncouth, and misunderstood man he has for far too long.