“On Marriage” by the Prophet Gibran Khalil Gibran -subtly and poetically telling it all about space and togetherness in relationships- whereby both are like an oak tree and a cypress tree, side by side feeding from the same source, yet having separate roots.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God
But let there be spaces in your togetherness
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you
Love one another but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts
And stand together, yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow
In many books, she is referred to as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, ‘Golden City’, ‘Symphony in Stone’, ‘Mother of Cities’ and ‘Paris of the East’. On few online pages, some call her casually the city of red roofs -a name I prefer to use. Any panoramic photograph of Prague one takes from any corner of the city, captures a cluster of its signature red-tiled roofs.
I am not sure how long exactly it took me to get this shot right with my new Canon EOS 400 back then; all I remember is that I angered my mother and few other people on the city tour trying to obtain a proper focus of the gloomy horizon. We were there in August 2007 and still managed to experience steady rain and clouds for an entire week.
Skyline of red roofs, cathedral spires and Vltava river - Prague - August 2007
I took this second photo from the stairs going down to the Lesser Quarter while heading to the castle – I think. I don’t recall we entered a castle but stood outside what looked like a castle for what felt like quite a stretch of time. I don’t pay attention much in tours, I remember in one country I had to cancel and claim a refund when I found out I’m alone on the tour. I made a big scene in order to get my money back, demanding to speak to a senior person, someone who understands psychology, yes I did that! Finally I got someone who grasped my ‘I cannot take a one-to-one guide focusing all his attention on me FOR A FULL DAY and compromising -in such case crowding- my space’. I tag along with a group, connecting at times, retreating at others into my own thoughts, day dreams, photography, reading, etc. which I do at my own pace, mood and comfort. Hmmm did I just say too much now? 😛
Back to Prague, the view is breathtaking from up there. What I liked most in addition to viewing and taking photos of the red roofscape was walking down the cobbled streets and admiring the coloured buildings on both sides. We walked much that day, so much that the first thing I did once the tour was over was without much guessing: lunching + local beering + surrendering to my mother and her million and one hmmm adorable comments.