When my husband and I did arts and crafts shows, at least once during every show, someone would wander into our booth, have a good look around, and as they left, shrug their shoulders and say, “Well it’s different!” (Usually pronounced “differnt.”) It actually was an in joke between those displaying their art—always interpreted as the speaker not understanding and not really liking the arts and crafts. Growing up in a small town, it was not the first time I’d heard the word in its derogatory sense. Thus, this poem:
When I finally made my way into the world so wide
I found myself exotic. Somehow transmogrified.
I liked being the foreigner, eminent in my oddity.
I found that being different was a definite commodity.
It was my prerogative to be just who I was
without creating currents in the small town buzz
of that place I had grown up in. My acts were less explosive.
My strange words now acceptable, not garnered as corrosive.
They thought my strange behavior typical of my nation—
those oddities of word choice and excesses of oration.
So in being totally different, somehow I felt more the same.
In finally being somewhere where different was not a sin,
the more different I was, the more that I fit in!!!