Monday, August 10, 2009

The Isle of Misfit Toys

Every year when I go to the Sunstone Symposium, I feel like I am going to the Isle of Misfit Toys.

Remember that place in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special? The place where you could find a train with square wheels, a fish who flew, a polka-dotted elephant? You can find all those types of people at Sunstone. The ones that just don't quite fit in, in your typical ward. They're feminist, or pacifist, gay, polygamist, mystic, or they have quite a LOT of food storage. Or they might just talk a little too much, or think too much, or know more than the average Mormon about Church history.

I don't want to paint the Sunstone crowd as too outlandish. After all, what's really the matter with a jack-in-the-box named Charlie? But I am really, really, happy to be able to go to a place where there are so many fascinating, interesting, dancing-to-a-different-drummer folks. It's going to be fun to hear them play their one note on the keyboard, to listen to their research and their frustrations, to have lunch and to greet old friends and to sing along with Ardean! I'm excited to meet my blogging friends and my internet friends and some others I only see once a year, at this event. It's a place I feel right at home.

I'm leaving in a few hours for Utah. Hope to see you there!


C. L. Hanson said...

Great analogy! I've always liked the misfit toys from that Rudolph special. (Sometimes my theme song is another one from that same special: "Why am I such a misfit...?")

I'm setting off in a matter of hours myself -- it should be quite a trip! :D

Bookslinger said...

Heh heh. It also sometimes applies to Single Adult events.

Mormon Heretic said...

I'm not sure I like the analogy, but I like Sunstone. BiV, I've been unemployed until just 2 weeks ago, and now I can't go! Perhaps I'll try to sneak in and say hi, but you'll have to give a good report on Sunstone. I'm so bummed I can't go.

Unknown said...

Your analysis and the analogy you use to explain it is spot on! Well done!

I'm more than a misfit, but not of my own volition. I simply came across some gospel concepts that no one else was talking about, in the mainstream or the misfit crowd. As a result, neither claims me. I can't even find an analogy to explain me. (grin)

annegb said...

I thought you lived in Utah.

Sadly, the Sunstone gathering holds bittersweet memories for me. I will always remember it as the time you could have come to visit me and you didn't. I'm scarred for life.

On the other hand :), that time marked the beginning of my re-entrance into society. Marta was my only overnight guest (besides Bill)---my only real company, in 6 months. My grandchildren fell in love with her, as did I. In 6 months, I had one visit each from my sister, and my two daughters. I didn't want to see them, tell the truth. But Marta's visit fed my soul.

I love this post, kid, it's so true. It's what I love about the bloggernacle.

Bored in Vernal said...

AnneGB!! Does that mean you are coming to see me before I leave Provo on Sunday? J/K. Wish you didn't live so dang far away. And I totally relate to your feelings of isolation. Remember, I am the original "Bored in Vernal."
Marta is indeed a doll.

Stephen said...

You've hit a great analogy. How did they like it at Sunstone?

Bookslinger said...

3 weeks without a post. Are things okay?