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The Wandering Jew

This may seem like an odd name for a blog, or at the very least a dire one so I figure it is probably a good idea to offer some insight.

I chose the name “The Wandering Joe” for a couple of reasons; the name tickled me for certain, but it also has some meaning to it.  The name is a play on the name (and Myth) of the Wandering Jew.  Not everyone is familiar with this particular myth, so allow me to quote from Wikipedia:

The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer’s indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, sometimes he is the doorman at Pontius Pilate’s estate.

Before anyone starts rolling their eyes let me just state for the record that I do not equate myself to this figure or his wretched nature.  Rather, I am intrigued by the very idea.  I was first exposed to the idea of “The Wandering Jew” when reading a book called Time Enough for Love about fifteen years ago, and after further reading the idea of someone stricken to wander in penance and blind anticipation struck me immediately.  The image of the weary immortal is hardly a new one, Star Trek in fact did an episode on the very subject (which I also remember from a young age), but the Wandering Jew struck me in particular because of his wretchedness.  In literature immortals are rendered as either resplendent heroes, timeless villains or romantic icons who drift in and out of events throughout the ages, either imparting wisdom or misadventure on their compatriots.  This particular character is different, unlike the vampire, the ‘god among men’ or even the artificial being the Wandering Jew exists purely in the background of history, his own tale being one of an eternity of in-consequence.  I have always imagined this character as an Oil Painting in a tableau of life-like illustrations; defined by colour and texture as opposed to actual being.

Of course none of that explains why the story has appealed to me, and why I chose to name my new site after it. The reason for that is simple; I have always regarded myself as an outsider to a degree, and I have always felt as if I am waiting for something…  although I’m pretty sure that it’s not the Second Coming.  I’m not a loner and I don’t ask for (or feel the need for) pity.  Rather, I have always felt that I am moving towards some great eventuality without a defined role to play, but I feel no great anticipation for it.  I am not myself weary or cursed, nor do I consider myself punished, but I am definitely ‘wandering’…  Besides, I do like a good play on words.

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