The Wayfarer’s Song, Installment 1

November 3, 2014

An experiment in point of view.


Here, halt, I pray you, make a little stay,

   O wayfarer, to read what I have writ,

And know by my fate what thy fate shall be.

   What thou are now, wayfarer, world reknown,

I was, what I am now, so shall thou be.

   The world’s delight I followed with a heart

Unsatisfied: ashes am I, and dust.

Alcuin’s Epitaph

Friends, I give you two themes to ponder: wayfarer and counterfeit humbug confidence man. I know what I am on any particular day, do you? Be not deceived, my friends, God is not mocked, said the Preacher. To each his own… Men of bad judgment quest after Fortuna and ignore the good that they hold in their hands until they have lost it. America may be the land of restless wanderers, but the wayfarer learns that we meet all of life’s great tests alone with our maker. Wayfarers and seafarers seek a better tomorrow, where only the mighty are celebrated. The wayfarer’s song tells of epic journeys. A wayfarer develops his own daily narrative for survival… even if he, like a Robinson Crusoe, only counts days as ticks on a wood slab. His blues come to us still, though Dame Fortune is rarely out-rightly named. The lives of ordinary men overlap, captured in ephemeral tunes – born, short-lived, and then doomed to oblivion – unless through serendipity they merge into the stream of historic memory. Self-conscious poets, lacking the artfulness of great bards, simply embellish popular tunes that linger in their consciousness.

Each wayfarer constructs a persona (a way of presenting himself) within the American dream of having a decent place to call home and enough resources to start a family. To each his own… sometimes the construction is a deconstruction of the American way of life. To each his own… some times the construction is a pretense, feigned to defraud. While the wayfarer experiences varied degrees of success; meanwhile, through their toil, they expand the boundaries of America and the semantics of what it means to be a man. As for me, I am a loving wayfarers: I lean towards the exotic; I follow hoops that are of low self-esteem. I wear them down with my unrelenting artfulness then move on before their male protectors can detect me. I wish to love, and I cannot; I wish not to love, and I cannot.


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