Solitude of a Night in Prague

I’ve never welcomed the darkness as much as tonight. The isolation clears my head; this solitude of nothingness, paraphrasing the philosophy of the Dao de Jing, …holds everything.

Such silence is rare here on the streets of one of Europe’s oldest cities, where in the daytime each passing second arrives quicker than the last. At this hour, however, time essentially stands still.

The shadow of night creeps through my body, its blackness cloaking my soul to reveal a calmness lacking the past few months.  The lights, blinding during the day, become relief at this hour.  An hour of perception.  An hour of contrast, of paradox.

All encasing a world I seldom visit; deep into the night where elegance and vulgarity sit side-by-side on a curb, fused together through their unique naïveté by the darkness that surrounds.

The grace and coarseness of their melody illuminates who I was, who I am, and who I could become.  Joined with the ghosts of the night, wisdom blooms within the lyrics and by dawn, a new world is created.

These ghosts are to be experienced, neither seen nor touched.  Only deep in the night can their harmonies be heard.

Midnight in Prague, sparkling after a rain, contains calm and chaos, energy and weariness, warmth and chill ~ a place where pixies of the light romance with trolls of the dark.

Simple contrasts scattered around life, demonstrate without one there is no other.  Only through darkness can we understand the light.

Darkness fascinates with its intriguing dance with light.  Either they embrace and find balance or scurry away deep into the recesses of life, waiting for another chance to become one.

There is joy in the depths of night.  A thrill found in the blurred line between light and dark.  Photography can enlighten the dark corners where most people avoid, revealing exceptional dimensions of everyday life.  Understanding contrast allows the mind to accurately interpret the world around us.

Dark and light, good and evil, pain and pleasure, man and woman. Embracing these polarizations ensures a rich life.  Be wary of those who pit one against another, their intent is to distort reality.  There is great value in grasping the thread of similarities between extremes, all which bind humanity together.

Nothing is either good or bad.  Churning within us all is something bright and noble dancing with something dark and dangerous.  And as with the purity of light, the human soul can only be cleansed by the deep darkness of life.

Grainy memories of wandering the streets are encounters I treasure.  I’ve enough experience to know within the darkness, flashes of illusions and imagination roam freely.  It is often within the dankest quarters of life where the heart begins to beat with the energy to ignite dreams undiscovered.

Mastering this balance makes the transformation possible. Where to begin to discover this magical place?

The need, the want and the fear, along with virtuosity can plunge a soul deep into exploring the murky and hidden pieces of life.  Unknown darkness, once recognized, reveals a glistening new view of life, a mystery uncovered.

History has long shown people in power pitting light against dark; exploiting the unfounded dangers within the contrasts of life. Exclaiming misconstrued extremes should be pushed into the depths of darkness, to be forgotten.  This is the gravest error, for understanding differences expands the mind and creates value where before there was only fear.

Throughout the day, tweets of the irrelevant flood the brain.  A thousand pieces of delicate chaos cuts away at reason.  It is in the rare solitude of night when the mind is able to breathe. Those simple words: inhale, exhale. The moment when chaos and solitude overlap, lightness and darkness come together with the realization of their interdependence.

When life is in balance, inspiration flows.  The conscious and unconscious weaves the thread of dependence between extremes and the blur of life slows.  Words form, new ideas take root and soon the faint whispers of the old streets come to life and a new journey begins.

Easy to fall in love here.  To fall for life.  To fall for the darkness.

A soft rain adds to the ambiance and I take a long look across the river to the thousand-year-old Bohemian fortress and imagine the incredible stories it could tell ~ knowing too, within, I hold tales and secrets to match.

Solitude of a night in Prague is to be embraced, to be absorbed.


255 Comments on “Solitude of a Night in Prague

  1. A much needed balance
    In this nowadays world
    Of soundless exuberance

    Yet it has been three months, mate
    With four closing in
    I sure hope you’re doing OK
    For home is callin’ 🙂

    • Hey there, yeah it has been a while since my last post. I keep thinking ‘this is the week to write/shoot something new’ and then… 🙂
      “A much needed balance, In this nowadays world, Of soundless exuberance” brilliant. Good advice, balance is needed – and getting out the camera and proverbial pen is a perfect way to get back in balance. Wishing you a great start to the year, very much appreciate you comment.

  2. Wow, stunning and beautiful ~ great series of photos! Wish you a fantastic weekend! 🙂

    • Thank you, Camelia, there is something special about Prague – we had snow here last weekend and the scene was something I could never have imagined (and unfortunately no camera…). Wishing you a great weekend as well, and wonderful to hear about your trip in Ireland, an amazing place as well. Cheers to a great 2019.

  3. I greet you, Dallo! How are you? … your life is just as beautiful? … you fell in love with Prague? … you are still there? 😀

    • Life is not too bad, thank you 🙂 Still in love with Prague, and with spring up ahead with the Czech countryside, I think think this feeling will continue. This should be a very good year, the best yet 🙂 Cheers to life ~

      • I’m waiting for you in Bucharest, but to come in the warm season, because then it’s beautiful! 😀

    • Prague does manage to capture the spirit of anyone who walks her streets, you are correct, it is a stunning city. Thank you.

      • Definitely… it was our first visit last autumn and we were totally enchanted… your photos elevates an already very beautiful city..

  4. I am so enthralled with the cobblestones of Prague. Ever since I saw the place in a movie — and this was when I was just a little boy: “Operation Daybreak.” Till now I feel the same impression. Wet cobblestones. Very photographic! I nearly made it to Prague one day, via KLM photography competition in 2016. But fell short. That was the closest I can get.

  5. Was in Prague for a day in 2018 as part of a package tour. One of the most fascinating places one has been to so far. Some of these places seem very familiar and yet so very different and full of mystique in the lit up darkness.
    “History has long shown people in power pitting light against dark; exploiting the unfounded dangers within the contrasts of life. Exclaiming misconstrued extremes should be pushed into the depths of darkness, to be forgotten. This is the gravest error, for understanding differences expands the mind and creates value where before there was only fear.”….What a great and valuable insight.

  6. OMG. The pics are so addictive! They beckon me in such a way that I wish I was there having a stroll while taking in the magic of the night. Thanks for sharing, Randall!

  7. I like much these walks in foreign cities at night. The city turns into a book new for the traveler as the residents are focused in their lives and somehow have become unaware of the magical place they walk.

    • Yes, Francis, you are absolutely correct ~ for the traveller, cities at night is the ability to become witness something exciting and new, reveling in the lives of the locals who are unware of the magic because they live it every day 🙂 Perfect description, thank you 🙂

  8. I stay in Prague at the moment and your pictures are some of the best captures of this already beautiful city. I loved seeing Prague through your eyes. I’m only wondering how on earth you managed to get such an empty picture of the Charles bridge!

    • Thank you, Leah! Prague is one of my favorite cities in the world ~ not a better city to walk around amazed. The Czech Republic is an amazing place, and I enjoy the countryside quite a bit as it is where I spend the vast majority of my time. I took these shots one night and I think there were two main reasons the streets and bridge were empty: it was cold and rainy, and a bit late at night. Are you staying in Prague long, or just for work/schooling?

      • Hello, I love the Czech countryside. Although I must admit, I’m a bit afraid to venture out of the city owing to my inability to speak Czech. Recently, I went to the Kokorin castle to see the Fall colors and it was lovely.
        I see, I think the only time I saw an empty Charles bridge was at night, during the lockdown. I tend to avoid the overly touristic areas. I stay away from the castle and the old town square but there are nice areas around the castle where I spend most of my time when I’m out walking. There are areas from where I enjoy a spectacular view of the city.
        I have been working at the Czech Technical University in Karlovo Namesti for the last two years. I will mostly likely stay in Prague for another two and a half years if all goes well. How about you?

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