CASTAWAYS – Our Only True And Faithful Companions?

A RADIOLAND / HIDDEN WHIM / REFLECTION from Poor William - (Radioland Video in post)

A trio of Castaways ` Deak Harp, Lou Haze, Poor William in the Mississippi Delta.

A trio of Castaways ` Deak Harp, Lou Haze, Poor William in the Mississippi Delta.

“Are our only true and faithful companions castaways?”
 John Ruskey, on the river, Oct. 2014

Castaway: A shipwrecked person, an outcast, or anything cast adrift or thrown away.

Last year at the conclusion of a three-day Mississippi River camping, canoeing and river-literature expedition, Ruskey posed the above-mentioned question regarding the faithfulness of castaways. I wrote the question down at the time thinking it worthy of future rumination. He related it to the unique relationships seen in Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s most excellent sequel to Tom Sawyer.

As the last year has unfolded, Madge and I have seen character after character pass through and to Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta. We find it fortuitous that God would bring so many pilgrims, wayfarers, and wanderers into our lives. Most are on a quest, following the often-unexplainable siren’s call beckoning from the fringes where castaways reside, hide and are drawn to the lack of normal. In a sphere where normal doesn’t exist, no one is abnormal.

Most characters got some castaway in ‘em; that’s for sure! And who understands a castaway better than another castaway—one who often walks alone and most often finds comfort and acceptance with others on the margins of society—far away from the status quo.

I don’t believe all castaways are true and faithful companions, nor are they the only folks who stick by us, but I sure do enjoy the camaraderie found among other often-estranged travelers searching for adventure, wonder, safety and acceptance. Plus, life ain’ dull on the fringe!

A pilgrim, Lou Haze from Switzerland, has become a good friend of ours while spending the last few weeks in the Mississippi Delta. He is a gifted musician, Bohemian extraordinaire, and a great Dude. Lou, Madge and I were sitting around our living room talking the other night and the subject of castaways came up. Madge asked me to talk about it, as Ruskey’s quote continues to resonate with both of us. Without thinking, I broke into free verse while Lou intuitively played Madge’s guitar. The final product? ……a completely extemporaneous Radioland. Watch and Listen.

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Welcome to the Mississippi Delta and Bohemian serendipity! pw


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