Wayfaring Stranger

i have probably expressed it here before. i certainly have implied or suggested it several times. But i keep trying to find the right phrase to describe my feelings about where i am and who i am and where i’m going. i think.

Strangely, the phrase hit me this morning. Then last night, in one of the last songs on the Banjo Stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was Emmy Lou Harris singing the song with the first line of the lyrics of the phrase which had struck me as a good descriptor.  In fact, all of the lyrics seem appropriate:

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
A traveler through this world of woe
But there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that fair land to which I go
I’m going there to see my father
I’m going there no more to roam
I am just going over Jordan
I am just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather round me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beau-teous fields lie just before me
Where God’s redeemed their vigils keep
I’m going home to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home
I’m just a going over home.

It is a lovely song sung by lovely people (i remember Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Willie Nelson in addition to Emmy Lou) with a sentiment to which i cling.

i feel that way. i do. Wayfaring stranger. A traveler through a world of woe.

It struck me again on one of the best weekends of each year.

i think i’ve been a stranger, or at least felt like it for most of my life. Songs seem to address me often. Another song, this one by Waylon Jennings also pretty much nailed me:

I’ve always been crazy and the trouble that it’s put me through
I’ve been busted for things that I did, and I didn’t do
I can’t say I’m proud of all of the things that I’ve done
But I can say I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone
I’ve always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain’t been so easy but I guess I shouldn’t complain
I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane
Beautiful lady, are you sure that you understand
The chances your taking loving a free living man
Are you really sure, you really want what you see
Be careful of something that’s just what you want it to be
I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane
Nobody knows if it’s something to bless or to blame
So far I ain’t found a rhyme or a reason to change
I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane





disenfranchised. muffled.

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