Warning: I'm about to let the brain air out folks.
You might want to step back... it's been awhile.

Also, I doubt very much you will see me get any nerdier than this.
(unless you want to know exactly how many days are left until The Hobbit movie opening, in which case, welcome friend!)

You'll still respect me in the morning, right?

PhotobucketThis Week's prompt: Wander

If you had the chance to wander anywhere you wanted... where would it be?

Let's just say that you had 24 hours to be anywhere ... and had no other obligations or responsibilities  ... where would you like to wander?

I am pretty sure what follows is not exactly what Brenda had in mind, but as I mentioned, the brain has not been let out for a good run for awhile, so please take that into consideration when reading my Pondering on Wandering.

Exhibit A:  The following poem appears twice in The Lord of The Rings (Tolkien) first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring:

    All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither,
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

    From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;
    Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
    The crownless again shall be king.

In this poem the difference between appearance and reality is studied in the character of Aragorn. Who is certainly significantly more important than his "Ranger" looks would suggest.  The Rangers were known for their wandering ways, and treated with suspicion from the very people their wandering ways protected from evil.  But the final lines tell us that Aragorn will in fact rise to be King.
This poem was once indexed as The Riddle of Strider.
(For you serious studious types, the first line is actually an allusion to Shakespeare's line in the Merchant of Venice:  "All that glisters is not gold")

Exhibit B:  My second favourite reference comes from what is likely considered William Wordsworth's most popular poem; and often referred to as "Daffodils."  It was inspired by a walk that Wordsworth took with his sister, Dorothy whereupon they came across a field of daffodils.  His sister wrote about it in her journal, and then he wrote the famous lyrical poem.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

(see full version HERE.)

The poem is a classic example of English Romanticism, which I love, but specifically I love how Wordsworth was often inspired by Nature.  I think my favourite part is how he assigns the brightness and permanence of something like the stars to the flowers, to show the impact upon his memory. 
Brilliant imagery.

Exhibit C:  Finally, a selection from John Milton's Il Penseroso (the companion piece to L'Allegro, again for the studious sort).  The poems translate to "The Happy One", and this piece, "The Thoughtful One":

Thee, chauntress, oft the woods among
I woo, to hear thy even-song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering Moon
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heav'n's wide pathless way;

(view entire poem HERE.)  

Milton is one of my fave poets - if not my favourite of all.  I love epic poetry - the use of alternating lines of iambic trimeter and iambic pentameter; and then to heroic couplets (rhyming lines of 2).  That basically refers to the rhythm, or beat of the lines.  Say it out loud and you will see what I mean.

 Also in keeping with epic poetry, the invocation of a Muse to inspire the piece; in this particular case, one of Melancholy (whereas L'Allegro invokes "Mirth").  He flatters this Muse so that she will sing her song and thus reveal some vision of the divine to him.  The poem (or rather poems, as they should be read together) itself is also a study in the appearance of contrasting lifestyles, and what the ideal pleasures of each might be.  The speaker is of course a solitary sort of person, and though some scholars might disagree, I say the setting is essentially pastoral.

For me, all this is secondary to the language Milton uses:  his skill is truly showcased in poems such as this, and illustrates why his poetic reputation is secure. I think they are truly without equal.

As we can see across the selections, wandering is often associated with a solitary, lonely existence that has an inherent danger of being misinterpreted and/or misunderstood.  Perhaps even to our selves; just as one might be led astray on a moonless night.  One might become lost in their own wanderings.  Is this similar to day-dreaming?

I think not.  When I think of "wander", I also tend to automatically think of "wonder"; it would seem that the two are linked in my mind.  Why else would one wander, if not to wonder; or ponder upon some matter?  The seemingly aimless placement of one's feet, allowing the mind to also freely drift where it may.  To the observer, one in this state might appear lost or lonely, when in actual fact; they are seeking.
Enlightenment? Truth? Inspiration?  A divine vision?  

Well, as we have so poetically been forewarned, one will never know based upon judging mere appearance.

Indeed, not all who wander may be lost.

Have you let your mind free for a good wander and wonder lately?

P.S  At the time of writing this post, the answer to the question is:

 It is 77 days, 15 hours, 0 minutes, 38 seconds

Forgot the question, didn't you?
Mind wander?