The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one:
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
– Francis William Bourdillon
The best way from Vienna to Salzburg is by train; it’s convenient and you see a bit of the Austrian countryside.
Though photography through the window of a moving train can be a challenge, I managed to snap a few.
As the trip progressed and the city faded in the distance, I was reminded of the song “Vienna” by Billy Joel.
“Slow down, you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you.”
And the alps.
Billy Joel continues.
“And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don’t you realize, Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?”
Taal Lake and Volcano, In the province of Batangas in the Philippines.
They call this place Punta Fuego, a Spanish name.
“Punta” in English means a tip or point (in this particular case, of land), and “fuego” means fire. “Punta Fuego” is hard to translate, but “Fire Point” is probably a close literal translation.
Historical references cite the Battle of San Diego, which was fought on these waters between Spanish and Dutch forces in 1600, as the origin of the name.
But I’m not a historian, my interpretation is simpler.
The setting sun turns into a ball of fire, and the land and sea and sky become punta fuego.
(In the province of Batangas in the Philippines.)
Down below, under the cliff
Wind blowing the ocean on the rocks
Wet earth, shimmering in the sun
Waves grinding shells into sand.
On the island of Bohol in the Philippines.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
– Dylan Thomas
Specially in summer.
(On the island of Bohol in the Philippines.)
In an imaginary life, everyday is like this.
Escapism? One can hardly fault anyone for indulging in some escapism. Check out the recent popularity of superheroes in movies where they somehow save the day, or fantasies such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter where the good eventually triumphs over evil, or science fiction where the future gets secured in galaxies far away.
Maybe there’s a lot of reasons for wanting to escape reality in today’s world, but I won’t get into that All I know is that some dose of “mindful escapism” — including hobbies, sports, photography and (cough, for some) blogging — is good for our mental health.
And when we “escape” with friends and create happy memories with them then it’s one way to bring the good from the imaginary into reality. And maybe that can make this world a little better and there would be fewer reasons to escape from it.
(Photo taken at the foot of Mt. Makiling, an extinct volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.)