15 August 2019

Ain't Talkin'

Just Walkin'

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Through this weary world of woe

High summer, and the harvest is coming in, despite the variable weather. Warm days, and pleasant walking in the Hertfordshire countryside, on the dip side of the Chilterns, near our home.

The brightest of the flowers have faded now, but there are still traces of colour about,

The hay meadows are ready for cutting, and   some fields are splashed with hardy ox-eye daisies hanging on,

But the creeping thistles have lost their flowers, and painted ladies are now replaced by drifts of downy seeds on the wind....

Though the smooth sow-thistle still colours the wayside....

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, hot summer lawn

Excuse me, ma'am I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

The oaks that dot the farmland, or shade the hedgerows are still in full leaf, 

At least most of them are, though nothing lasts for ever,

And while the farmers have brought home some of their harvest,

There is still much work to be done, and our paths are sometimes the only cut the fields have seen,

We walk, often without talking, enjoying the quiet and the sights and sounds. But then sometimes Amanda will point to an aeroplane high in the sky, excitedly exclaiming 'Look, up high!  I didn't know that was available!  She's lovely!' 

Or some bird will be startled by our approach, and she will tell it, 'Oh God is giving you lots of happy times, darling.'

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through this weary world of woe

Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on earth would ever know

As the closing track on Bob Dylan's 2006 album, Modern Times, Ain't Talkin' is a powerful and haunting song, which also exists  in a slightly different version on Tell Tale Signs.  The song draws on elements of Irish and American music, nods to Merle Haggard and Ralph Stanley, and suggests that the singer is a troubled pilgrim:

They say prayer has the power to help, so pray for me, mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I am tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't goin' well

We walk most every day, sometimes twice.  Me and my wife of thirty something years.  But we don't talk much.  Semantic dementia has stolen sense from her words and from her understanding. She greets strangers with, 'Oh, you're having a lovely time,' as they walk, run or cycle by, and loves seeing new things around her.  But conversation, discussion, communication is bit by bit becoming very difficult.

They say prayer has the power to help.....

Though sadly I don't see it happening.

And sometimes it rains,

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden

The wounded flowers were danglin' from the vine
I was passin' by yon cool and crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
You ride up high and down you go
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on Earth will ever know

Ain't Talkin'
Bob Dylan

All photos taken on my iPhone 

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