Across seven bridges

Bruce bridge in San Diego
Sometimes I would walk the street without remorse
Sometimes wishing back my littl’ rocking horse
Sometimes I don’t find a resting spot
Sometimes I bolt the doors behind me shut
Sometimes I spew fire and sometimes ice
Sometimes I don’t know that I am wise
Sometimes I am tired right at morn
And then I seek solace in a song:

Across seven bridges you shall go
Seven years will come and leave
Seven times you are the ash of grief 
Then once again your light will glow

Sometimes ’t seems the clock of life stands still
Sometimes ’t seems you’re loping in a hamster wheel
Sometimes you are lame on itchy feet
Sometimes you squat quiet on a seat
Sometimes you grab for the golden orb
Sometimes you see your lucky stars send blur
Sometimes you take, when you can endow
Sometimes you hate, who you truly love: 

Across seven bridges you shall go
Seven years will come and leave
Seven times you are the ash of grief
Then once again your light will glow

1978. This song was produced for the radio in East Germany by the rockband Karat, who also toured in West Germany. Most East German bands never had that chance. The West German singer Peter Maffay heard the song at one of their concerts, asked whether he could do a cover version, and made the song even more popular. After the German unification, they performed together. It has been covered by many to this day. The lyrics were written by Helmut Richter. The song has its own Wikipedia entry.

My English translation has gone through a number of versions. I am very grateful to the musician Tillmann Spiegl for his help with making some lines as singeable as the German original.

Karat - Über sieben Brücken musst du gehn (1978) 

Manchmal geh' ich meine Straße ohne Blick, 
manchmal wünsch' ich mir mein Schaukelpferd zurück, 
manchmal bin ich ohne Rast und Ruh, 
manchmal schließ ich alle Türen nach mir zu. 
Manchmal ist mir kalt und manchmal heiß, 
manchmal weiss ich nicht mehr, was ich weiß, 
manchmal bin ich schon am Morgen müd, 
und dann such ich Trost in einem Lied: 

Über sieben Brücken musst du geh'n, 
Sieben dunkle Jahre überstehn, 
Sieben Mal wirst du die Asche sein, 
Aber einmal auch der helle Schein. 

Manchmal scheint die Uhr des Lebens still zu steh'n, 
manchmal scheint man immer nur im Kreis zu geh'n, 
manchmal ist man wie vom Fernweh krank, 
manchmal sitzt man still auf einer Bank. 
Manchmal greift man nach der ganzen Welt, 
manchmal meint man, dass der Glücksstern fällt, 
manchmal nimmt man, wo man lieber gibt, 
manchmal hasst man das, was man doch liebt. 

Über sieben Brücken musst Du geh'n, 
Sieben dunkle Jahre überstehn, 
Sieben Mal wirst du die Asche sein, 
Aber einmal auch der helle Schein. 

If you have the interest, time, and energy to read more of the Just texts you find them in blog order on this website. Please comment on what you associate with them, what you like, what you dislike, what you read in them, how they make you feel …

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Butoh dance and dancer

dancing darts 
darkness drapes
tense dancing
toward time
trashing dross tales

and I see
her shaking
the dance is
not the dancer
and pain is

The video clip above was the writing prompt in this workshop run by Eva, who has two texts on this blog.
Before today, I did not know anything about Butoh, a Japanese dance form. Ankoku Butō (暗黒舞踏) = the Dance of Darkness.

I just want light

Photo by Mohamed Khaled on
Why is the light white, he asked. 
- What kind of question is that? Do you want to buy these bulbs or not? 
— Wouldn’t it be good customer service to answer my question? I am just wondering about the color.
- The color of what?
— Of the light. I can’t see it.
And he pointed at the little boxes on the shelf.
- Are you serious? I have been working at Homedepot for seventeen years. Your question is a first. 
— Really? Are people not buying these bulbs?
- Yea, they do, but they don’t seem to talk about them as much. They just buy them.
— Do they ever return them? If they don’t have the right light?
- I don’t know. I work in these aisles, not at the service desk. You have to ask them.
— But when they don’t know what is meant by white!
He was gesturing at the shelf again.
- The light is white. What’s so difficult about it?
— Isn’t all light white?
- Really? How about red light?
— No, I mean the light itself. From the bulb. Not some filter. Or glass. Or whatever.
- All these bulbs have some kind of glass. It filters the light.
— Yea, sure. The one I opened has clear glass. So, I was wondering.
- Wondering about what? 
— Where does the white come from?
- I don’t know. It’s a bulb.
— That’s why I want to buy it. Just with the right light.
- All bulbs have the right light. You just need to know what you want.
— I want a light bulb. With nice light. Why does it have to be white?
- You said all light is white.
— Right. But I don’t want that.
- What do you want?
— I have no idea. Just light.

This conversation was playing in my head. A conversation about nothing. Just light.
Practicing the writing of dialog in a writing workshop a few weeks ago.