Old World Déjà vu

Old World Déjà vu-1

It was a strange day I remember, exploring Budapest for the first time with a sensation I had walked these streets before, every corner a story to be told.  Each step filled with fascination, time of no concern as evening tumbled from dusk into the magical darkness of night.  Pulled forward by destiny into my past.

Old World Déjà vu-2

She was there, a flash of a smile wrapped up in the Old World like a well-worn shawl.

An artistic light gathered around her, fusing the old with new, highlighting the intricacies of the human spirit. Not yet love, only a tickle of possibility.  The depths of the night offered us the chance to roam new lands, to dance with the tide and imagine our next adventure.

Old World Déjà vu-11

The start of the day blends with the end of the night, leaving the unanswered question of where we belong. Amid all the laughter, a melancholy undercurrent swirled beneath, leading to the inevitable conclusion.

The exit.  A measured trace of emotion is revealed but little else. With no sense of belonging, we vanish into each other’s arms like the whispering winds of the past.

Old World Déjà vu-4

Where will you go when morning arrives?  Did we truly exist or were we just a dream, lost in this endless slumber of life?

The music of the world refuses to fade, a reminder of the hope tomorrow brings. The pull of destiny continues. With a smile, I close my eyes and dream of the New World.

Old World Déjà vu-10

Side Note: Along with travel to Budapest (and Europe), two pieces of music helped inspire this post: Karl Jenkins – Bards of Wales (based on János Arany ballad of the same name).  Hungarian history is fascinating, a great feeling of the Old World.  The other is my favorite piece by Antonín Dvořák, his New World Symphony.

Nothing is quite as mysterious as where we came from or where we are going ~ reconciling the Old and New World.

228 Comments on “Old World Déjà vu

  1. Hello Randall,
    How lovely to see a new post from you. Thank you for sharing some of your experience with us. I hope you’re having a good summer so far.

    • Hi Takami, thank you and the summer has been great so far ~ a bit too much travel, but then that’s been much of the fun too. Wishing you a great day.

  2. Randall ….. Missed you and your beautiful photography and philosophical words. Thanks for sharing. It was a refreshing way to start my morning!

    • Mazigrace, it felt good to get back into writing and photography again ~ it had been too long 🙂 Seems like the beginning of summer for me now. Wish you well!

  3. This post is different and evocative Randall. I can’t help but wonder if there is a mystery girl wafting through your life and dreams.
    Happy travels. 🙂

    • Evocative is a good description ~ a bit different than my other writing, although when I write it all feels similar to me. Travel has way exceeded my expectations this year, so at least for a month I can slow down a bit here in Seattle. Thank you Brad and cheers to a good August ahead.

  4. This post is very engaging because of the content. I love your pictures, no wonder they are from my favorite continent 🙂

    • Thank you Alok, agree with you on Europe…coming from the States, it astounds me to have such rich cultures and history wrapped so close to each other. A two-hour drive and it is another world you’ve entered.

    • Thanks Adrian, it felt good to have time to sit back with some photographs, a keyboard and an empty page in front of me 🙂

  5. Indeed she is breathtaking 🙂
    Beautiful words, beautiful city. It’s a thrill to see a new place through your eyes, and of course, your lenses Randy.
    There’s a serenity that overwhelms one when in these golden places. Though in full view, but yet hidden, like a treasure map leading to many discoveries.
    Visiting Prague put something inside my soul, and ever since, Eastern Europe has become an addiction.
    The exit. You dare fall in love yet again? Lol. A man with your yearning could never settle for just the one love. As always, fantastic shots.

    • She does make the heart beat a little faster ~ and Budapest does not disappoint. You’ve mentioned perhaps my favorite city in Europe with Prague, and the similarities with Budapest are many…I hope to return again. There is something about Eastern Europe that ignites the soul – such great history, cultures so yes, I am with you on this. Thank you and wishing you well Dotta ~

    • Thank you Léa, it felt great to sit down let the words flow and speak along with the photos 🙂 Cheers to a great day ahead.

      • Randall, your words absolutely flow. Best regards! 🙂

  6. Love Budapest and your photo essay, R. My favourite thing there was the unromantic but very Hungarian cabbage strudel 🙂

    • Hungarian cabbage strudel 🙂 You’ve now given me another reason to return ~ the food there was incredible…I miss it already. Thank you Mary.

    • Sitting back and looking at the photos, the memories ~ it was fun to just let the words flow. Wish you the best Mia ~ enjoy the day ahead.

  7. Thoughtful and beautiful moments in Budapest and a memorable evening, it seems…. your portrait on the Chain Bridge is a stunner, Randall. Powerful emotion in your words and images.

    • It seems Europe never ceases to amaze, in fact the world in general ~ so much diversity in culture, foods and history…and the one constant is great people. Makes the photography and writing flow that much easier, as you allude to in your past post ~ to find and work with the details of the scene. Thank Jane, wish you well.

  8. Great to see something new here! Wonderful post, as always.
    After 4 visits to Budapest l can’t imagine liking any place more. A place where I could live…
    All the best to you!

    • I am very happy to hear this from you Dana, as it is the same feeling I had in the city as well…I could easily live there. Great people, history, beautiful city ~ it had it all. Next time I go, I’ll have to let you know and hear some of the places you enjoy there. Cheers ~

  9. A true vision. Must have been an adventure of lingering thoughts and memories.

    • To be able to step out on an adventure and chase those thoughts, see the vision and make those memories, some of the best pieces life has to offer 🙂 Thank you Nana, and wishing you a wonderful summer.

  10. Hi Randall,

    Hope you have been doing well and just busy. Nice to see another photographic poetry, mingling with your philosophy of life. The last picture is a masterpiece! Loved it. 🙂 Stay blessed dear friend.

    • Thank you Balroop, it felt so good to be able to take the time to sit back, contemplate about recent travels and work and then just let the words go. I’ve missed doing so recently 🙂 Wishing you well ~

  11. Enchanting poetry – both visual and literary – for a city I called home for 4 years. There is something seductive and endearing about this part of Europe. Here, the Old World persists, tradition lingers, the atmosphere is infused with nostalgia. Good to hear you enjoyed your journey, Randall.

    • You say it very well Julie, there is indeed something seductive and endearing about this part of Europe ~ one foot firmly planted in the old world and the other on the beauty of today which creates such an electric atmosphere. You must have enjoyed your four years in Budapest like no other, I sure could see myself here ~ thank you and cheers to a great day ahead.

      • Yes, I enjoyed my time there. But I love Prague even more. 🙂

  12. I much enjoyed the reading and the photos as always Randall! Happy to see another post from you again:)

    • Thank you very much Inger, it felt great to be back in the photographer’s/writer’s chair again 🙂 Cheers ~

  13. Lovely photos and poetic prose. I wish I had more skill at the later, it seems to strike a chord with people that more pedestrian prose does not.

    • Thanks Dave, the photos and prose seemed to fit well with each other ~ although I do have to say, I am a bigger fan of pedestrian prose that flows well 🙂 Different types of writing, especially the variety out there makes the reader in me quite happy. Cheers to a great weekend ahead.

  14. “where we came from or where we are going ” – that’s pretty much the question, isn’t it? Another great post to savor and enjoy.

    • It is a pretty simple question that is at the core of us all. Perhaps not so simple to answer, but a great one to spend a lifetime contemplating and figuring out 🙂

  15. Lovely pictures and narratives with the hint of romantic. When I read this “Where will you go when morning arrives”.. it just reminds me of a song “Will you still love me tomorrow”. I am little surprised your final notes about a couple pieces of music inspired you..

    • There is something romantic about a city where you visit for the first time but there is a touch of déjà vu. You match the line above with a great tune you mention, and also perfect for the morning 🙂 While I am not a big classical music fan (Seattle grunge and alternative rock dominates my playlist), those two pieces are amazing. Even as a huge Beatles fan, my #1 piece ever would be Dvorak’s New World Symphony…it speaks of adventure. Cheers to a great weekend ahead.

  16. A very different post for you Randall, beautiful as always. I find myself wondering about the beautiful woman–reality or fantasy? With you it’s always difficult to figure!! Loved Budapest and enjoyed the walk down memory lane my friend.

    • Ha, ha, yes it is a bit of a different post for me – the Old World is inspirational. As for reality and fantasy, seems I get these two things confused quite often 🙂 Of course it helps to have a beautiful lady, Hanna, who can trigger enough fantasy to keep reality/life interesting. Budapest and Hungary as a whole is impressive: the history of the country, the countryside, the friends I have there and the food…well, I could go on for awhile. Thank you very much Tina, wish you well.

  17. Maybe you have walked those paths before Randall and maybe you will again.. Your questions are important and meaningful. I am beginning to see that we are definitely here on earth to evolve and expand over many life times. Is this a dream? I’m not sure, but there is definitely a pull of destiny for each of us. For how ever long I am here, I’m planning to be guided and to capture each and every moment.
    Bravo for your gift.

    • With physicists around the world coming out with all these new theories of a multiverse and the mysteries of quantum mechanics ~ chances are that I probably have 🙂 It is kind of soothing understanding such possibilities ~ makes all dreams that much closer to reality. Wishing you a great weekend ahead Karen, take care.

    • Isn’t it fun to see a place you’ve known through the lens of another ~ I am always a bit mesmerized at how others view the places I’ve visited. Thank you.

    • Every day I passed by the lighthouse and wondered just how I could ever capture the mood ~ and while it was an impossible task, it was great fun trying. Thank you Simon.

  18. I like how you brought the old and new together in this post so seamlessly, and rightfully so because one cannot exist without the other. “Pulled forward by destiny into my past.” Such an emotional line. I think I feel this way sometimes: the more I venture into new territory be it visiting a new place or maybe being forced to learn something new at work, I feel as if I am learning and progressing…but at the same time bits and pieces of my past catch up with me. No matter what we do or where we go, it is always hard to escape what we have learnt and who we have been – they are essentially a part of us that play a part in how we feel in the present. “where we came from or where we are going” – I think we are always living both of them each second 🙂

    Love the hope springing throughout this piece. I smiled when you mentioned you smiled as you closed your eyes and thought of what’s to come. Dvořák’s New World Symphony is one of my favourite pieces too. About three years ago I got to watch the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform it (conducted by Jakub Hrůša). What a magical moment. Would love to hear the piece live again but it would certainly hurt the wallet 😀 Brilliant images all round. Always so crisp and that is an amazing sunrise/sunset (I’m thinking the latter…). Your photos remind me of another classical piece, Czech composer Smetana’s Má vlast – it’s six symphonic poems reflecting the sounds and quirks of nature and the countryside of the country.

    Sounds like you’ve been traveling and hope it has been great. Take care 🙂

    • Thank you very much Mabel. The Old World charm of Hungary and Budapest is such a part of their lifestyle and culture, beautifully melded with the present. It was impossible not to be affected, and with great food and peaceful countryside ~ a place that felt like home. Reconciling the past with the present I suppose is a key to move forward, and this trip cemented such a feeling with me. The New World Symphony holds similar such feelings (although much more on the moving forward/adventure emotion for me) ~ I’ve only seen it live on TV, and would love see it live…let me know when the Melbourne Symphony are performing it and I’ll take you! Nothing quite like live music. I will have to check out Smetana’s Má vlast, as I do not think I heard his work. Wishing you a great weekend ahead ~ take care.

    • It would be great for you to visit there at some point, to see your photos and I think you’d fall for the city/country as well 🙂

  19. Nice, intriguing post and good photos. Budapest is an interesting city – I hope you got to take a lot of photos. That is quite the beauty in your photo. The last photo of a mountain goat standing atop a peak is cool.

    • Thank you, I wish I would have been able to photograph it in more detail ~ but was there for work and time was limited. However, I definitely do want to go back and shoot it properly, as it is a city that deserves to be fully explored. Cheers ~

  20. Wonderful photos of your travels and very intriguing! Beautiful lady. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. So glad to read all is well.

    • Thank you Charlotte ~ it was interesting to see Hungary/Budapest and feel the Old World like I did, it surprised me. All of Europe is special with such diverse cultures right around the corner from one another…makes me look forward to returning. Wishing you a great weekend ahead.

      • I’m off to Germany on Sunday for 3 weeks training, last year I trained in Italy and the year before Romania. I can recommend all of them and the U.K. for your journeys 😀. Mind you I love your photos of all the places I’ve never been!

      • I remember your training in Italy ~ an exciting time for you to be heading out again. Sure would like to see Romania one of the days ~ enjoy and take care!

  21. Hello Randall, I have forgotten what it’s like to go through your posts. They are spectacular as always. I have gone MIA for the past year due to uni and am now dipping my toe back into the blogosphere – I find myself looking for your work. I aspire to have an audience like this in two years time too, except I am not as consistent in posting or in the quality of my work. Are there any tips or hindsight you have in growing your blog? It is quite an establishment now and it’s a beauty too.

    • Thank you Carren, it is always nice to return back to the blog ~ to create, whether writing or photography. A break from life I suppose, allowing me to contemplate about life and moods. I guess, for me, it is that simple ~ find what ticks and then jump in feet first with no regrets 🙂 Cheers to a great weekend.

  22. This post dear Randall also brought a smile to my face.. As I feel your relaxed ambience. As you tantalise us within your Dreams of Possibilities 🙂
    Your photo’s are always so stunning and none more so than the beautiful lady who shared the Romantic Air of that beautiful night.
    I was intrigued by the choice of your music as I had not heard the piece you mentioned of Antonín Dvořák

    So I looked up on YouTube, and I am now listening to it being played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan, playing the 9th Symphony. And I realise I have heard part of this beautiful piece of music before many times, but did not known what it was called.. As I often watch the Proms and listen to classical music.. So thank you for putting an even bigger smile upon my face as I now listen..
    Wishing you a beautiful Summer Randall

    I als adore that Goat upon the mountain top and the capture of it amid the Suns rays.. Just wonderful.. As it looks out across the World..

    Here’s to our New World my friend, may it be filled with Possibilities of ALL of Our Dreams..
    Love and Blessings

    • Dreams of possibilities is always a great way to start the day ~ thank you Sue. Dvořák’s New World Symphony I think embodies the same sentiment, forging onwards towards new possibilities which made it a perfect match for my feeling in this post (even though it was the Old World triggering such thoughts). Wishing you a great weekend ahead.

      • Your post Randall along with the music were a delight to the senses.. 🙂 Thank you and you too have a wonderful week Sue 🙂

  23. Impressive city – Budapest, and you have an fantastic shot, fabulous photos and gorgeous trip Randy. Nice to hear you again 🙂

    • Thank you DellaAnna ~ Budapest surprised me in a very positive way, a city I hope to revisit soon. Wishing you well.

  24. Beautiful storytelling here, Randall. Your writing always draws me in. Your gorgeous pictures are quite captivating, but it’s the human stories you tell which I love so much; they’re so ethereal and dreamlike, I think I once said to you I can never be sure what’s real and what’s not. I adore that quality about them! It’s quite magical. And I agree wholeheartedly with that last statement. Hope you are keeping well and happy. 😊

    • Sometimes as I go through my day, I wonder what is real and what is not ~ I think it is always bouncing between the old and mythical versus the new and factual. Somewhere we try to find the happy medium 🙂 Thank you Ali, there is always something captivating to be told as you know and practice well. Trying to find the right words (or in my case photos) to convey such feelings is part of the fun. Wish you well ~

      • I think you do it beautifully. I love the mist which blows through your words and blurs the edges… you could be in the ‘real’ world, or then again not. Maybe one foot in both at the same time, hence the ambiguity. Its quite magical. And the images add the clarity. A winning combination.

      • Your words are magic Ali ~ “the mist which blows through …and blurs the edges” a quote I’d like to use at some point 🙂 Having a foot in both places may be the key, and now definitely my goal.

      • Haha! Feel free to use it as you wish. Words are one thing I have plenty of. 😁

  25. Wonderful words and photographs, as ever! Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the first piece of music that inspired your post, but I of course know the New World Symphony. In fact, I now have it going round and round in my head as I write this comment. I’m just glad you weren’t inspired by, say, the music of Justin Bieber.

    • Yes, the New World Symphony is a perfect piece to have bouncing around in your head, Bieber…less so 🙂 The first piece of music was by Karl Jenkins, commissioned by a Hungarian concert agency (FBZ Hungaria financing much of this) to bring music to the 1848-49 ballad “The Bards of Wales” (and martyring the Welsh bards of 1277). I was just introduced to this piece during this trip, and fell hard for it. It added to everything Budapest/Hungary had to offer. I need to ask FBZ why this piece cannot be found on iTunes or elsewhere…it is relatively new (2012) performed at the National Concert Hall in Budapest and then I believe the following year at the Royal Albert Hall. More info can be found here: http://www.cmi.hu/node/5

      • I’m intrigued to listen to the piece of music now. Incidentally, I followed the link and discovered that Karl Jenkins has the most impressive mustache I can remember seeing since Lech Walensa’s on the TV news as a boy.

      • It is a great piece – not as epic as his mustache, but almost 🙂 Lech Walensa, out of Gdansk…ha ha, yes, I do just remember him.

      • I think I’ve found a Youtube video of the piece and I’ve just started listening to it. It’s very dramatic, with a big choir. 🙂

  26. It’s good to see you again Randall. They are beautiful captures. What sticks with me is a curiosity about the use of “old” and “new” worlds. They are labels from times past. Perhaps they now symbolize more of a personal transition or evolution from one state to an other.
    If it was me, I’d go for the goat and nature.
    But then that is where I am in this life.

    • For me, there is always a play between the past (myths) and then reconciling it with the present while moving forward into the future ~ and as you say, I think it is how we as individuals evolve (or at least have the opportunity to evolve). And I am with you, the goat and nature win out every time. Cheers and thank you Val.

      • Myths are so powerful. I will linger with this for a while.
        Thanks so much Randall 💛

  27. Beautiful, everything is so beautiful – your ‘flash of smile’, your words and images. Glad you visited the Old World and loved it. Wishing you all the best for the rest of the summer!

    • The Old World hit me like I did not expect it to ~ a life and culture that was so rich in history while so perfectly placed in the present. A wonderful trip, and hope to return there soon. Thank you Inese and wish you a great weekend.

  28. Wonderful images Randy. Keep them coming, they are a bright spot every time I receive them.

    Hope to see you again soon.

    • Hey Kevin, it is great to hear you enjoy the photos ~ look forward to enjoying a beer or two with you again. I’m up in Seattle for a bit, but hope to make it down to Pendleton and of course the R-Up and catch up with you. Let’er Buck my friend!

  29. Randall .. a journey into your imagination is so sweet and magical. I adore your writing and your images .. Whispering winds of the past … sigh. Superb! Thank you

    • You chose the line that was to be the title ~ t was the feeling I had after every day there, a magical place; a perfect for a vivid imagination. Thank you very much Julie, wishing you all a great Sunday ahead.

  30. You speak like a poet. Every time I come here, I always think of where have you been to next. And you never cease to amaze every time.

    • Thank you Rommel ~ Budapest was a very poetic place, did not spend as much time as I wished there but all the more reason for a return visit. Wish you a great weekend!

  31. Love the lyrical prose Randall. Add a gorgeous lady and that beautiful setting, and you have the perfect recipe for magic 🙂 Look forward to reading all about your recent travels.

    • Beautifully stated Madhu, thank you. This is a recipe that even I cannot mess up 🙂 The many different cultures of the world never ceases to amaze or inspire me, a beautiful world indeed. Wish you safe travels ~

  32. I, too, see Budapest as a place where magic dreams can visit us. I had a few such days and nights there a few years ago. I will never forget my first Hungarian dance experience 🙂 A poetic and beautiful post, Randall.

    • The spirit of the Hungarian culture is one that happily surprised me, and as with you a place where magic seems to be around every corner. Thank you very much Tiny, and wish you a great Sunday.

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