musing

The entrance to life and a door to death


I had never heard of Sopron until I came to Hungary. It’s an interesting town with a history dating back to pre-Roman times when it was known as Scarbantia. But I am not writing this post about the city as you can read up on it here, I am more interested in something else…

Magnificent...

Magnificent…

What hit me, when I visited Sopron for their magical Christmas fair last month, were the doorways. From the simple yet macabre doorway of death (the doorway to the Ghetto where all Jews were rounded up before being shipped off to camps), to the ornate Fire Tower doors, churches, doorways revealing courtyards and all the goings on behind them.

Door to death... the doorway to the ghetto

Door to death… the doorway to the ghetto

 

They just caught my eye and here are a few for you to see – all of which have a story, all of which have weathered time, marauders, death, fear, hope, love and happiness.

A vestry door...

A vestry door…

Doorways are mankind’s physical entrances to the world within. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did while walking around this fascinating and beautiful city. A city full of time, where every street and door tells a story all its own…

Welcoming...

Welcoming…

Thank God for small shops...

Thank God for small shops…

 

Leading to the Roman ruins...

Leading to the Roman ruins…

The Advent Museum...

The Advent Museum…

The Synagogue next to the ghetto... a prayer before dying

The Synagogue next to the ghetto… a prayer before dying

Doorway 1Door 18

Door 29Door 23

Door 19

 

Door 5

 

 

Door 25

 

Ok... it's a window, I know, but isn't it just gorgeous?

Ok… it’s a window, I know, but isn’t it just gorgeous?

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Politicians… putting the “n” in cuts


Perhaps it’s a consequence of having a cynical mind, but don’t you find politicians these days are just so condescending?

They were always condescending I suppose, it’s just that they used to be so much better at putting us in our place… “plus ca change” and all that…

The Odyssey that is Life


Lőrinc Szabó

Lőrinc Szabó, Hungarian Poet, Author and translator talking to me…

I am getting lost… lost in life…

It moves so fast, time’s curve getting steeper and faster as I get older – do you ever feel that? Weeks rush by. Weekends are a blur. The endless march towards death continues unabated. I don’t mean that in any negative sense, I am just amazed at the pace at which life seems to move. I often think that I am not in control, but there is a hand out there, nudging me forwards, even when I want to sit still and think about life.

I love thinking about life. I enjoy the solace found in contemplation with thoughts meandering on their wayward journey through my head and ending up somewhere completely unexpected – I relish that journey more than anything else. In fact, sometimes so much so that I often feel like I don’t need to travel, as in physically. Why would I want to when I can travel on my mind’s own journey through places and people, frailty and fortitude, often flippant, sometimes frugal, frivolous and forgiving, though most of all frightened?

Frightened, I hear you ask, why frightened?

Well, one could call it awe, perhaps so in awe of life that it is frightening.  I am in awe of life and how it works. How it twists and turns. How it moves in rhythms, undulating towards a certainty. Along the way there are rolling hills, sharp cliffs, sweet waterfalls and everything else in between. So why would I want to travel anywhere if I can go through such a personalized, unplanned, journey inside my own head?

The problem is, though, that the living of life takes too much time. The endless striving for more; the monetary side of life destroys our souls and we spend too much time chasing its mirage-like dream of beauty, riches and similar inconsequential things. Don’t get me wrong, I do the same as any normal person. I set goals, stick to timetables, attend meetings, discuss the Material on a regular basis, look at a dwindling bank balance and do the weekly groceries and (enjoy ironing and wearing a clean shirt). It’s a chore and be seems an imbalance. Even the majority of my writing is for a reason – a roof over my head and food on my plate.

But it is in my thoughts that I break free of the manacles that Life shackles us with at birth. In my thoughts I roam free of strictures imposed by society. Here, in this private place, I work on weekends and enjoy life during the week. I taste the freedom that can only be experienced through imagination, inspiration, ingenuity and imagery borne out of a wandering mind. Here, the 9 to five is banished to purgatory, the fridge is always full and there is an adventure around every corner. It might take me into the life of a passerby, the feelings of a bird in Spring or the dreams of a smiling child, full of the promise and indulgence of the moment.

Please, if you have time, take this journey, your own odyssey into your mind, heart and life. It is the one moment when life truly stands still. The rush suddenly ebbs and the world of living paves way to the world of solace and rumination… Lose yourself in introspection, explore the wonders of the world on the doorstep of your minds for a moment and emerge refreshed, ready and relieved. The journey might take you to dark corners of your mind, or ride a wave of happiness. It may be questioning, or conclusive – it’s your journey and you can do with it what you will. Wander down its own road, or step off into the unknown.  

The point is to take the journey, to find that solace and to close your mind to the machinations all around you… Only then will you be able to complete this odyssey that we call Life.