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Meandering Coming Together

2021Fall-bookbyte066.jpg
Ustill, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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The “Rincon”, an entrenched and abandoned meander in the Glen Canyon, the riverbed of the Colorado River, Utah, USA. The meander is thought to have formed several thousand years ago.

Hello, Radio Readers! I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City KS and I am reveling over the wonders our Fall 2021 Book Series wrought, wonders of travel and wonders of conversation, in just a few short months, through our series “Rivers and Meandering Meanings.”

Hello, Radio Readers! I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City KS and I am reveling over the wonders our Fall 2021 Book Series wrought, wonders of travel and wonders of conversation, in just a few short months, through our series “Rivers and Meandering Meanings.”

Most recently, we’ve experienced the hazards of trekking the United States’ southwest desert terrain, following the moral struggles of border guards and physical struggles of migrants up from the Rio Grande, risking everything, in Franciso Cantu’s incredibly relevant and thoughtful memoir The Line Becomes a River. Rafting down the Mississippi River via the 19th century classic and controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we explored a few morally ambiguous territories charted by law and geography, as two friends seeking freedom drift instead towards deeper slavery. And it all kicked off with Kansan Max McCoy’s account of rafting the Arkansas (?) Arkansaw (?) Ark? River. Early in this account, in Elevations, McCoy reflected that “rivers represent the banks of our experience, and the desire to go beyond them.” Through the thousands of miles we’ve rafted, drifted, and coursed atop rivers, tramped land alongside them, and trekked through desert places, I’m not sure we’ve yet sated desires to go beyond the banks of our experience…we are readers, after all --

But – wow!—did our book leaders and book byte contributors ever press up against our banks and boundaries, making profound connections between these provocative books and our current state of things – what does it mean to be free? What price will we pay to be free? What responsibilities do we have to maintain our waterways? To each other? To those seeking to join our neighborhoods, communities, nation? Should we be protected from danger? From dangerous ideas? How do we balance the many functions of rivers – as ecosystems, as routes for commerce? for leisure? As borders? As cultural and as geographical byways?

And I know…I know… lots of questions, lots of ideas…each of us is like a barge, heavily laden with ideas, insights, and questions….and yet we’ve almost reached the end of this very powerful journey through Fall 2021 read about “Rivers and Meandering Meanings.” But don’t jump the raft just yet, Radio Readers…

Because…on Sunday, November 14, HPPR takes the Radio Readers book discussion live and on-air! HPPR Radio Reader BookByters Hannes Zacharias, Marco Macias, Leslie VonHolten, Lynn Boitano, Kath Holt, and me – Jane Holwerda— we will all be together, live, and in conversation. We’ll revisit the highs and lows, the depths and shoals, of our conversations these past few months – and you can bank on new ideas and perspectives to float up too.

The books in our series “Rivers and Meandering Meanings” are Kansan Max McCoy’s account of rafting the Colorado River, the classic and controversial 19th century novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the incredibly relevant and thoughtful memoir of Francisco Cantu’s experiences working as and United States’ border guard. These provocative books carried us through thousands of miles on the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers and through thousands of treacherous miles of the American southwest on both sides of the Rio Grande.

To join us, please tune in to High Plains Public Radio on Sunday, November 14, from 6-8pm, on HPPR. For Radio Readers, I’m Jane Holwerda, from Dodge City KS.

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Fall 2021: RIVERS meandering meaning 2021 Fall ReadHPPR Radio Readers Book Club
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