And struggle in the darkness troubling my eyes

This left foot has been giving me trouble for days

Well, my week on the Camino de Santiago has sadly come to an end. I know I’ve gone on and on about my feet, but that’s what people on a pilgrimage talk about. It’s rather important, to be fair. 

poppies along The Way

This was one of the nicer photos from my last day of walking, and just looking at it makes me want to rearrange my flight from Bilbao and keep walking toward Santiago

waking with the roosters

If you get up with most of the other pilgrims, there’s a good chance you’ll be greeting the sun. Yet because you’re generally walking westwards, the sunlight is shining on your back. 

a selfie with me caring for my feet

Most days begin and end with obsessive foot maintenance. It’s on the mind of nearly everyone on the Camino. And a helpful tip for how to care for your doggies is on the tip of almost every pilgrim’s tongue. 

still one of my favourite shots of my time on the Camino

I can’t believe so much has happened in such a short week. The thought of continuing on all the way to Santiago makes me so envious of my fellow pilgrims who I’ve been walking with the last days. 

I’m reminded of one of Joni Mitchell‘s songs in which she ponders some of the same things I’ve been thinking about while pilgrimming.  

Hoping and hoping

As if by my weak faith

The spirit of this world

Would heal and rise

Vast are the shadows

That straddle and strafe

And struggle in the darkness

Troubling my eyes

From the song Slouching Towards Bethlehem

wish I had a river I could skate away on

IMG_3049

This is from one of my very favourite songs of all time, and I don’t know why. Why I love the song so much, I mean.

It’s just like that sometimes, isn’t it?

See, I’m a songwriter, so I think a lot about what makes a great song. There are lots of theories, and I’m fascinated with all the ones I’ve heard, but ultimately a good song is one you love. Full stop.

Really.

The one included below is a rare recording of River, which if you don’t know it is on the Blue record. Aunt Joni put that particular long playing album (LP) out in 1971, and every hippie chick I’ve ever known had a copy. For many years it was either the actual vinyl record, but later it was a cassette tape and then even later it was the cd.

Every song’s a classic. Really. If you hate any or all of Blue, you’ve got no heart. You’re dead to me. It’s that simple.

If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, go get a copy of Blue. Download it legally, go look through your mom’s music collection…really find someone/anyone who’s got a copy, then copy it for your own collection. You could even import it if that’s your preference.

You’ll be glad you did.

Shadows and light revisited

Poppet’s shadow and mine alongside hers…

I wrote a blogpost with this title back in early summer, but didn’t even mention the Joni Mitchell song I was referencing. That was an unfortunate omission, because it’s a song worth knowing. Here are the lyrics:

‘Every picture has its shadows
And it has some source of light
Blindness, blindness and sight
The perils of benefactors
The blessings of parasites
Blindness, blindness and sight
Threatened by all things
Devil of cruelty
Drawn to all things
Devil of delight
Mythical devil of the ever-present laws
Governing blindness, blindness and sight

Suntans in reservation dining rooms
Pale miners in their lantern rays
Night, night and day
Hostage smile on presidents
Freedom scribbled in the subway
It’s like night, night and day
Threatened by all things
God of cruelty
Drawn to all things
God of delight
Mythical god of the everlasting laws
Governing day, day and night

Critics of all expression
Judges in black and white
Saying it’s wrong, saying it’s right
Compelled by prescribed standards
Or some ideals we fight
For wrong, wrong and right
Threatened by all things
Man of cruelty-mark of Cain
Drawn to all things
Man of delight-born again, born again
Man of the laws, the ever-broken laws
Governing wrong, wrong and right
Governing wrong, wrong and right
Wrong and right’

Isn’t that nice? Please go to your local record store, order the album ‘Shadows and Light‘ and listen to the title track. It’s really worth it for the harmonies alone.

I’d like to be able to give more here on the ol’ Dachshund Blog, but the last few weeks have been hairy and it doesn’t look as if the stress will be letting up anytime soon. Although I don’t share many private things here on my blog, I will say that the next few months might be a time of rather massive change in my life.

For one thing, I’m moving out of the neighbourhood I’ve lived in the entire time I’ve been in Germany. Munich-Neuhausen has been so very good to me. It really is my favourite Stadtteil (district), and there are plenty of shops and people I’m going to miss.

However, I’m trying to remind myself that nothing lasts forever. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll move back to Neuhausen. Am trying to tell myself such things to make the parting less painful.

If you’d like to know more about it, and can read a bit of German, here’s what muenchen.de has to say about my old ‘hood:

Stadtteilbild: Neuhausen

Dig a Pony, eh?

Will keep you informed of where I land. It’ll certainly be an adventure. It always is with the likes of me.

One street in Neuhausen covered in snow…