Monday, December 03, 2012

City of Blinding Lights, Redux

I've got Edinburgh on the brain again . . .  This is not an infrequent occurrence, but tonight's musings were lit by two incidences.  I found an 1868 print of the Grassmarket (above) at work today and I heard U2's "City of Blinding Light" on the radio tonight.  These two occurrences contrived to plunge me headlong into a "missing Edinburgh" reverie, the likes of which I'd not felt for years.  Here's why.

I'm thinking tonight of my infamous (in my own mind) "lost post" on Enigmatic Snippets, my first blog.  You might remember that I stupidly lost all of the posts on that first blog in the great social networking purge of 2008.  I was sad to lose some of those posts, but none so much as the "lost Edinburgh post."  I've probably built it up in my mind to be much better than it really was, but I remember it being pretty damn good.

You see, I had just heard "City of Blinding Light" on the highway as I drove east on route 2.  Boston area residents know that driving east on route 2 around the border between Arlington and Belmont (known as Arlmont) gives you a fantastic view of the city of Boston.  You crest a hill and there it is!  I remember hearing the song and seeing my native city and feeling a pang of longing for my adopted city in Scotland.  And then going home to write about it on that old blog.

I wrote about how Edinburgh is a city of surprise - you're walking down a fairly normal, almost suburban thoroughfare and then down an alleyway comes a view of an ancient castle or an extinct volcano, surprising you out of the everyday.  It's a city of contrast - a walk around  the city can be dour & dark, wrapped in  the ghosts of many centuries.  Then without warning, mirth! and light! spill out from the doorway of a pub.

I've seen Edinburgh in sunlight, moonlight, and firelight.  There's something about the way that city looks in certain lights - it fairly glows.  I know no other sight like it.
Photo credit Monica Sherman

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