The Two Sides of Prague

We were back in Prague this weekend. What an amazingly beautiful city it is! Even though I adore Brno, its still amazing to visit Prague.

Most people who visit will do all of the touristy things like visit the Castle and walk down the hill to the Charles Bridge etc. This is wonderful of course and replete with history and symbolism but you know, its only half the story.

Castle

Some of the symbolism around the castle surely reflects Prague’s rich esoteric and bohemian background. Walking through the gardens we come across the fountain showing essentially the scene from the Strength tarot card, next we find a small but obvious pyramidal structure and then a statue of the Fool. Its all there if you look.

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Walking down from the Castle you will cross the Charles Bridge full of tourists….

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But that is just one side of Prague.

In Prague 6, there is a huge area of greenery, walks, cycle paths and beauty that shows its other side too…

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And do you know what? In this other side of Prague, all you will find is Czechs strolling, cycling and enjoying the quieter side of their amazing city.

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Ice Symbols

Finally we have some snow here in Prague. As I look out of the window today of the room that serves for my office, it is that beautiful grey sky, leaden with intent, snowflakes falling gently and undisturbed whiteness everywhere. I love such days. Its forecast to be this way for a few days too so maybe we will get some sledging in before it all melts. Snow is marvelous if you think about. Unique crystals of the stuff that show the miracle of creation in every flake. A warm blanket of cold stuff for Mother Earth. Initially perfect in every way.

I say initially because it melts eventually turning into freezing cold puddles of brownish mess. Before it melts, it gets hardened and compacted and covered with yellowish patches where the dogs melted it. Sometimes the whiteness is washed with dirt and mud from passing cars and the snow becomes a collector of dirt. Eventually, it all melts away and disappears revealing once more the green fecundity it once hid.

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It’s all cycles. Birth and death. Freshness and staleness. Freezing and melting. It’s the natural way of things and if you contemplate it, you will find that like everything else, it is a symbol with many meanings and much to be learned…..

Fog

This morning, for the first time in a very long time, it was really quite foggy here in Prague. We live at the top of a hill and it was quite bizarre driving up the hill into the fog. For a moment, my imagination was off and I half expected to emerge on the other side of the foggy wall in a parallel universe. Most disappointingly, I didn’t.

When I was a boy, there seemed to be much more fog. Maybe there was as in industrial Britain of the 1960’s it was smog rather than fog that we were dealing with. Perhaps, it was just Hull situated between the coast and the River Humber on the flat plains of Holderness. Always damp and cold, fog just seemed a natural part of the landscape. I recall walking to school in the thickest fog. So thick, you could hide a few feet away from people safely enveloped in thick white mist. It made the world seem mysterious as with only a foot or two of vision, that space took on more importance so that you really saw what was there. It focused your vision I guess. It was a safe sort of magical feeling that I have not experienced in many years.

By now the mornings fog has burned off and the Sun streams through my window. As I look down the street, I can see Prague below us reflecting back from the valley. Its an impressive view but it doesn’t photograph very well unfortunately.

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Meanwhile, my memory is full of foggy days and foggy fun playing hide and seek in the stuff with my brothers and friends. Fog is like a blanket white canvas on which you can project your imagination and as children, we did.

And Finally….

Yes…… the sun is shining here in Prague. The rain starts again tomorrow though. So, I am going to keep it short so I can sit in that strange thing called sunlight for just a little while.

The Last Observer is selling already – very slowly but it has some pre-orders and this is great news….. Meanwhile, I am working on Astral Messages – a new book of poetry. Can’t stay still for a minute…..

Nice weekend folks!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Rocky and I just got back from a walk up the hill here in Prague. The sun is shining and its already warm….. Rocky, who thinks he is a dog, marked every lamp post while I surveyed the city lying in the valley below. It’s a nice city that is for sure. The view and the walk gave me some perspectives on things.

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See, I just quit my high powered and highly paid job. It feels good not to have to deal with that stress any more nor have to worry about the silly staff issues, politics, owners, forthcoming regulations, keeping costs down and so on…. But I face a new challenge because I am going back to running my own business with a partner from Houston, TX. The stress now will be can we make enough money each month to pay ourselves! I guess I should be scared shitless but to be honest I am calm. I reckon everything will work out just fine. It usually does and that walk has put me in a calm mood.

What I would really like to do is to write. For that I need an audience. I’m not worried about that either for some reason as I suspect I will find an audience too in good time.

On days like today, I am reminded of that silly but so right song – Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

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I intend to be…. now, I must do some work.