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“WILSON!” January 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Life Balance, People.

Grumpy gusIglot has much to be thankful for ~ plenty of food, comfy clothing, and suitable shelter.

But he isn’t satisfied.

His days have an easy rhythm to them ~ gather and prepare food, engage in physical and mental exercise, repair and maintain his hut, mend his clothes, sleep, etc.

But he isn’t satisfied.

Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, Iglot lacks companionship.

Wilson the volleyball

Wilson the volleyball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hanks solved his problem by creating a companion . . . Wilson.

With Wilson by his side, Hanks feels less lonely.

He enjoys having “someone” to converse and argue with, even if verbal responses are never forthcoming.

When Wilson, his steadfast friend, floats off into the sunset, as volleyballs caught in the surf are wont to do, Hanks grieves the loss.  He is bereft.


Did he desire an audience for his accomplishments?  Did he seek accolades, admiration, and applause from an inert leather ball?

Or did Wilson represent something deeper still . . . a purpose? A reason to be?

If Iglot is the last man standing, with no hope of ever having connections to create for or dependents to care for, what might cause him to keep putting one foot in front of the other?

Why continue his journey from cradle to grave?

What would be the point?  Why should he strive to stay alive?

Is being connected to “the source of all things” enough?

Or do we need just a bit more?

“Wilson!!!  You’re back!!!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Like A Good Neighbor (Agrigirl’s Blog) * The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island (BreatheLighter)


1. aawwa - January 19, 2013

You raise some very good questions worth thinking about 🙂

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

If you come up with any great insights, please share! 😀

2. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 19, 2013

Nancy we just watched Cast Away last week. Again. We love that movie! Wilson always cracks me up. I think Wilson represents something deeper but I can’t put it in words.

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

I agree . . . some primal urge to see and be seen perhaps? I need to add Cast Away to our queue and watch it again ~ I’m sure that my perspective has shifted since its release in 2000.

3. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 19, 2013

Hey! Thank you for the Fly By.. 🙂

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

De Nada. So glad that you decided to post again after your extended hiatus.

4. William D'Andrea - January 19, 2013

This is what I like about being on the internet; that I can contact people who will respond; like you do. Throughout most of my life, I hardly ever had anyone to talk to; and I suffered from extreme loneliness. Now that I can contact internet friends, my sense of isloated loneliness has ended. I have been able to express myself fully, while finally having people reading and responding very positively to my writing. I didn’t get myself an e-mail address until August 2006, but since then, being on line with writers like myself, has been the most satisfying time of my life.

I thank you for that Nancy, and all my other WTF? friends, now on facebook, but first on webook, and all the other websites where I have people I communicate with as friends. I thank all of you.

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

The internet certainly has changed the way we connect with each other ~ it simultaneously brings us closer together in cyber time, and pushes us farther apart in real time (since we have less time for sitting on front porches to chat with passersby).

BTW: I’ve been unable to access WEbook for the past few weeks. It seems to have disappeared from the radar screen. Do you know whether it’s a temporary vs. a permanent departure?

William D'Andrea - January 21, 2013

On December 30, I received the following message on facebook, from Richard W. Scott:

“Well, I am officially bummed out. It looks like WEbook has finally gone belly up, and I still haven’t gotten to my big download. Some two hundred short stories, essays, poems and such have flitted off into the ether. Sure hope I’m wrong, but this seems like the longest hiatus so far. Grumble.”

That message received almost 30 replies including one from me, in which I said,

” I’ve just checked out webook, and all that’s displayed is their home page. My own account has vanished. I had 28 projects posted, including dozens of entries in the WTF? projects, along with over 200 comments, and I don’t know how many personal messages. Maybe they should have informed all of us members ahead of time, so we’d have had the time to download whatever we wanted from our accounts, before they went out of business, or whatever you call what’s happened. However, the end of webook is not the end of writers’ websites. Over the past few years, Ive also posted copies of many of my stories on the following writers’ websites: http://www.fanfiction.net , http://www.fictionpress.com , http://www.wattpad.com . http://www.figment.com and http://www.fannation.shades-of-moonlight.com . I suggest that those among us, who still want to post their writings on writers’ websites, should check them all out; along with others in which I’m not a member.”

nrhatch - January 21, 2013

Thanks, William. That’s about what I expected. Unless WEbook rises from the ashes once they bail out from Sandy.

5. Piglet in Portugal - January 19, 2013

I watched this film some time ago – absolutely brilliant. I think we are not islands and we do need companions!

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

I agree. Without companions for our journey, there seems little reason to “keep on, keeping on.”

6. klrs09 - January 19, 2013

I’m sorry – who is Iglot?

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

Iglot is a hypothetical creature of my own creation . . . the last man standing.

7. Barbara Backer-Gray - January 19, 2013

I love Castaway. And anything Hanks, for that matter. My son and I agree that Wilson should at least have been nominated for best supporting actor that year.

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

Wilson was the best supporting actor that year . . . and he didn’t try to steal any of Hanks’ lines. 😉

8. kateshrewsday - January 19, 2013

Interesting questions, Nancy. I have no idea how I would respond without being in the situation. My feeling is that each day would have moments, however fleeting, of beauty. And that might keep one going. But who knows?

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

I agree, Kate. It’s hard to know since it’s so far afield from the realms of my experiences to date. If survival came easily enough, I expect I would trudge along, hoping that someone else would eventually appear on the horizon.

9. diannegray - January 19, 2013

I love that movie! 😉

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

It’s a perennial favorite. 😀

10. Three Well Beings - January 19, 2013

Since I just posted about a woman alone on an island for 18 years I have been think about how I responded when I saw the movie Castaway. We saw it in the theater and then I must have watched it half a dozen times through the years. There is something in the Hanks character that just pulls me in and gives me such an emotional kick-back. I think it is the idea that life went on for others while he was just trying to survive. The loss of true connection with others left a hole in his life beyond the years on the island. It really kind of haunts me. I connect to others very easily and although I’m really an introvert by nature, I do need people. And all the reasons for that aren’t at all clear to me, but I’m really intrigued with the questions you’ve posited. I’m eager to see what others continue to say!

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

I am heading around to read your most recent post about the woman alone on an island for 18 years. What grand timing.

While I cherish my alone time, it’s nice to know that there are people around when I’m in the mood to socialize. Being “all alone” would be a rather empty feeling.

11. ericjbaker - January 19, 2013

No one said it, so I will:

I hear Tom Hanks had a ball working with Wilson.

Onto the philosophical stuff: It’s surely about people and companionship. Who wants to eat at an empty restaurant or go to a movie theater that has no other patrons? Rationally, it should be better. You get faster service in one case, and in the other, you can sit wherever you want and have no concern that someone will talk during the film… but then you miss out on the collective experience. Isn’t a comedy 10 times funnier when 200 people are laughing with you?

I recall seeing the first Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace, on opening day in 1999. By most accounts, the film is a miserable disappointment, but I’ll never forget the cheers that went up as “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” appeared on the screen. The fact that all of us strangers, most of whom would never cross paths again, could share the same emotional connection for the same reason at the same moment, was far more significant than the merit of the actual movie we were watching.

I have the option of working at home or in the office. Worklng at home means I get to listen to music while I work, plus I can shave a hour an twenty minutes of driving each day, not to mention saving gas. Yet, within two days of working at home, I can’t stand the isolation anymore. I willingly use up time and fuel to drive into the office about 9 days out of 10 just so i can interact with my co-workers and friends.

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

Thanks for a terrific comment . . . I had a ball reading it! 😉

Eating at an empty restaurant would make me wonder whether it had been featured on “Dirty Dining” due to cockroaches or mold found in the kitchen. 😯

I agree with all your thoughts for most of the people, most of the time, BUT (you knew it was coming) . . . I’ve “worked” (some might say “played”) from home for the past 5 years and would HATE to return to the workplace. I much prefer NOT having to get up, get dressed, pack a lunch, commute (through rain, sleet, or snow), park, and head into an office for 8-13 hours.

Been there, done that, got the W-2 forms to prove it. 😀

Hmm . . . if ever there was a candidate for a desert island, maybe I’m it?

ericjbaker - January 19, 2013

Don’t forget your sporting goods and a couple of permanent markers. You might want to have a party one night!

nrhatch - January 19, 2013

And chocolate . . . I MUST have chocolate. 😀

12. Andra Watkins - January 19, 2013

In that situation, I would probably just talk myself to death. I talk to myself anyway.

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

Who knows, if you get a good monologue going, maybe you won’t even notice you’re alone . . . until one day:

“Hey! Where is everybody? Where’d everybody go?”

That might be what happened to the lone woman of San Nicolas Island ~ she was so busy chatting with her self that she didn’t notice the boats drifting away.

13. nancycurteman - January 20, 2013

I love Tom Hanks. I even grew to love Wilson and felt so sad when he disappeared.

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

I remember being sad too . . . but it was vicarious sadness, felt because Tom Hanks was sad. If he’d been happy that Wilson was heading off (like a message in a bottle), I would have been happy too. Mirror Neurons help us commiserate.

In contrast, when Old Yeller died, I was devastated. Directly. No intermediary required. If the characters had thrown a party to celebrate his death, I still would have cried.

14. Pocket Perspectives - January 20, 2013

I just read a book, (Say Yes to Change) where the author’s perspective was that Tom Hanks’ relationship with Wilson opened Hanks’ character to the deep connection of relationship and eventually to developing compassion.

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

Perhaps Hanks developed a “deep connection of relationship” with an inanimate object because it couldn’t talk back or “step on his toes.”

Or maybe he just slowed down long enough to feel his connection with “all that is.”

15. colonialist - January 20, 2013

What I love about humans is the way they can take a story simply written about about a man who has a ball with … er, as … a companion, and interpret it as a theological depiction of the human condition in a universal spatio/termporal continuum – or vice versa! 🙂

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

I love it when you use big words. 😀

colonialist - January 20, 2013

Would you under any circumstances be insinuating that I indulge in a certain modicum of verbosity? 🙂

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

No, not a bit of it. Your comment made me laugh, because I tend to agree with the psycho-babble language you used. We do tend to “over-analyze” situations at times.

The unexamined life isn’t worth living.
The unlived life isn’t worth examining.

16. sufilight - January 20, 2013

I think nature intended for all of it’s creations to have some sort of companionship. I visualize someone living in total isolation in an island talking to the trees or rocks … a voice needs to be heard.

nrhatch - January 20, 2013

Yes, I think you’re right. Even cats with all their “independence” enjoy company. 😀

17. jannatwrites - January 21, 2013

I might be the only person who hasn’t seen that movie 🙂 I think companionship is an important element of life. It helps our mental and social development…plus it’s fun to interact with others.

nrhatch - January 21, 2013

At times, people are tedious. They talk about “fluff and nonsense” just to fill the airspace. But they can also be quite entertaining and amusing. It’s rather like that box of chocolate that Tom Hanks (as Forest Gump) described . . . you never know what you’re going to get.

18. Perfecting Motherhood - January 21, 2013

Ah, Cast Away is one of my favorite movies of all time.

nrhatch - January 21, 2013

It’s got it all . . . plot, conflict, character development, and a gorgeous bloody handprint as a co-star. 😉

19. bluebee - January 22, 2013

Just think: all that chocolate to yourself…

nrhatch - January 22, 2013

But when it’s gone . . . it’s G~O~N~E! 😯

bluebee - January 22, 2013


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