The Check (or Cheque)

I went to my bank this lunchtime here in Brno in the Czech Republic with something I haven’t seen in quite a while – a paper cheque. Actually, it was a paper check as it originated in the good old US of A. I took it to the cashier and she took it and looked at it carefully. “What is it?” she asked. “A check,” said I, with a smile. I was asked to take my check and take a seat.

About five minutes later, one of the ladies from the back office came looking for the ‘American with the paper check’. I’m unsure as to which was more unusual – the American (naturalized) or the paper check!

We sat down at her desk and she pulled out a huge manual. Thumbing her way expertly through this massive tome she evidently found what it was she was looking for….that part of the system manual that told her how to deal with those archaic financial instruments – paper cheques. Within a few minutes, three ladies stood around the screen muttering to each other and trying to actually capture my check deposit in their system while yet a fourth held my check in the air and examined it suspiciously and closely all the while comparing it to photographs of various checks from various institutions. She and the other three then compared notes and with some satisfaction, were able to identify it to the system as a US Treasury check. After presenting passport and signing photocopies of said check and passport copy, navigating through multiple screens in their system, I was informed that my check would probably take around a month to show up in my account and that there would be a 500CZK fee ($25) for handling it. The ladies looked as if they had accomplished something and apologized to me for taking so much time…. “You see, we barely ever see paper checks here anymore…” one kindly explained to me.

 I left the bank feeling very old.

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The Stream of Life

Bobbing along the stream

Sometimes fighting

Other times alighting

For a longer look

Checking out scenery

But no real choices

Except to go with the flow

I go where I need to go

Can only slow

The inevitable

As I start at the beginning

I must end at the end

That’s the way it really is

Life is like a stream

Winding its lonely way

Always just passing through

Never sitting still

Ripples speak to movement

Movement is my destiny

One day, I will reach the Sea

And that, my friends

Will be the end of me.

 

River & Sunset

Touching the Emptiness

Touch the emptiness

Stretching deepness

Cooling depths

Old memories

Black and white

Like old movies

Funny feelings

As if I could touch

Touch the emptiness

It’s on the edge

As if momentarily

Forgotten

Was that my childhood?

Was that really me?

Stretching deeply

To touch the emptiness

Its’ dreamlike quality

Chasing that thought

Is there a reason?

Am I all for naught?

Touching the emptiness

Building a soulful thirst

Driving onwards ever wearily

Towards the setting Sun

Yet didn’t it just begin?

Started in the sixties

Images, floating illusions

Touching the emptiness

My father has already gone

He prepares the place

Wherever that is as he

Touches the emptiness

Birth, Death, emptiness

Cyclic like the seasons

I came from the emptiness

And there I will return

Reaching out, stretching

On the edge of my memory

Touching the edge of emptiness

Once again

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Image is Emptiness by Leafbreeze7.

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Food

Crispy tomato

Ham smothered in bread

Lettuce and raddish

Give me some fried eggs

Drizzle me something

Make it sweet or sour

Bacon sizzles in the pan

Can you smell it?

I bet you can

 

Creamy potato

Luscious fried chicken thighs

Onions and garlic

Whip me up some cream

Dazzle me in calories

Make them hot or cold

My cheesecake is rising fast

Bring it on baby

The die is cast

 

Cheesy toasties

Sinful seasoning too

A Cherry on top

A sultry salty turnip to go

Shoot me some ketchup

Come and fry it up

A saucy strudel explosion

Deliciously rude

And saucy emotion

 

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The Visitor

It was some strange time in the morning

So early it was still night and without sunlight

The air was so cold and you could hear a pin drop

I shivered involuntarily and tried to sleep

But there it was again

The deepest of sighs rattling like a death breath

My blood ran cold

I strained to listen hearing the loudness of total silence

But there it was again

A scraping rustling sound scratching along the hallway

My heart palpitated

At any moment now that door will begin to open

At any moment now I will scream with all my lungs

And there will be nothing there

Nothing there at all

And I will lay and pray

That the morning sun rises soon illuminating my room

And ensuring that my ghostly visitor stays away

Throughout the day

 

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Rerun – I Used to be Able to Fly

I am as sick as a dog and not feeling up to doing anything so I am running an old article that I like… I hope you all do too!

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I posted this quote on Facebook last night on the Last Observer page. For a novel about the nature of reality and magic, it struck me as a darn fine quote. Magic really does involve belief or faith. Faith really can move mountains. Magic rituals, far from being some evil activity performed naked with the lights out, are simply a very traditional human activity designed to help act out and therefore convince the subconscious and other areas of the psyche, that something is so. That, if you like, we can still fly. I discuss this in Inner Journeys where I use the example of projecting success and being successful as a result. A Rolex watch could be used to help convey the idea of success and it is, in this context, a magical instrument.

The quote though, reminded me of something I had written on Asteroth’s Domain a while ago. The blog article was titled Imagining and it deals with a memory of being very young and able to imagine things into reality. A sense that at some point I existed in a real place but fall back into this dreamworld on waking bringing a very real sense of disappointment. In this ‘Otherworld, whatever I imagine can be my reality. In this place, I can fly. The fact is, I am pretty convinced that I could fly but at some point growing up, I was laughed at and told, “don’t be silly, people can’t fly!” At that moment, I lost my ability to fly. At that moment, I lost something else far more important. I lost my belief in magic and I lost my childhood.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming anyone for this. It is the world we live in and what would it be to think I could fly at my age? Well, guess what? There are moments when the magic is still there. When dragons still exist and Unicorns roam and yes, I can fly. They exist on that point between waking and sleep and who is to say that this is reality and not just imagination or that its really the other way around?

JM Barrie knew and gave us directions… “second star to the right and straight on til morning”

Buyer’s Confusion

I am in the market potentially for a bike. The Czechs love to cycle and there is much to see on a bike here and lots of bike paths and routes and so on. Its a bikers’ paradise.  Additionally, I just seem incapable of losing any weight whatever I do so I figure cycling more may help keep me fit, healthy and slimmer.

But boy, how difficult it is to buy a bike!

There seems to be around 20 odd brands and all of them make bikes in every category with minor differences and so my entry level bike choice probably numbers one of 30-40 different bike models and brands. Its no use asking the shop people which is the best value as they won’t tell you to go to another store now will they. From what I can gather, it comes down to frame and components but how you are supposed to know which components are superior to others is beyond me. I have even researched on the internet and reckon you would need to be mad crazy about bikes to ever know what it is you need to know to buy a bike.

The other thing that gets me is the price of bikes. Yes, you can pick up a cheap bike in a supermarket but my experience and research suggests these fall apart pretty quickly and I have heard them described as ‘death traps’ by the experts. For a real bike $500 seems to be about the minimum and it goes on from there. I saw a bike yesterday that had a price on it of $16,000 – you could buy a car for that!

My point though is that its now just bikes that pose a buying dilemma but more or less anything. Want a new TV? Take a look at all of those TVs in the showrooms – brands, types, sizes – what the hell makes one TV twice as expensive as another and how am I supposed to know this? Phones… washing machines… anything – we are spoilt for choice and such a broad choice that every purchase decision requires you to become an expert on the topic. It contributes to the stress of life that I simply am at the mercy of choice.

In the end then, how do I choose? Perhaps its just how a thing looks – color, design and shininess? I do my research, I shop around but invariably I fall in love with something despite myself. It may not be the best, have the best price etc. but I like it. Inevitably, the bike I end up buying will be the one I simply fell in love with…..

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The Flame

I am but a small and fragile flame

I flicker and seek to grow

I think myself apart and

Desire to grow much brighter

To enflame the World

The Truth is I am of the Fire

I am simply a part of the whole

Awareness is all I really desire

I am the fire

And I am of The Fire

An aspect of the One

From the book Astral Messages by Dr. G. Michael Vasey available on all Amazon sites.

 

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The Power of a Song!

It’s just a song

But it echoes of yesterday.

Memories are triggered

By a simple set of chords.

Images floating on by

Regrets or perhaps simply

Happy cherished memories.

The simple power of a song

Was that a good time?

If only I could go back there

Meet people and go back to places

Now long gone and passed by

Perhaps meaningless at the time

Taken in with that fleeting feeling

Of immortality that only comes

With the arrogance of our youth.

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