Sometimes it takes being up high to get a sense of perspective.

For reasons uncertain, even to myself, I was feeling fairly grim on Sunday. Everything from my sense of self-worth to my self-image (still with the self, self, self...*sigh*) was feeling pinched and cramped. Nothing seemed to fit and to make matters worse, the weather was gloomily grey. I was uncomfortable in my skin and resenting being made to be sociable. (Sociopathic, would have been more pleasing to me, but not acceptable to the world at large, it would seem...) Sunday was not looking like being an optimistic day.

After wandering around the foot of Arthur's Seat and getting lost around Miralles' mad-genius concrete fishing-port of a parliament - and avoiding back-pack wielding tourists in noisesome gaggles -I wasn't feeling much better, although I was doing a far better job of hiding my lethargic, apathetic, just-plain-pathetic, self-pity and was feeling somewhat more aesthetically nourished. Mrs Gripes was keen to, "go for a good walk" and in the spirit of compromise (my first choice would have been to huddle in a darkened room until it -whatever "it" might be- was all over) I agreed. Having already decided between us that climbing Arthur's Seat was one of the recognised symptoms of sheer, certifiable, wrong-headed madness, we agreed to go to Blackford Hill: a far less challenging climb, considerably less populated and a little closer to home.

Amost as soon as I got there, I could feel my mood lift. In part this may have been due to the vastly improved weather - the greyness had lifted and the sun was almost painfully strong - but mainly it was down to seeing Edinburgh afresh.

From up here the city looks likes a box of toy bricks thrown in a vast pile. Black church spires occasionally scratch the sky, the foamy, spongy green of the trees seem to froth and spill everywhere you look. The castle still draws one's eye, but is offset by the massive presence of Arthur's Seat. Even from the distance of Blackford Hill, Arthur's Seat dominates. It squats and scowls and looks untamed, like a sleeping lion.

The quietness, broken only by the sound of seed pods popping in the heat and the distant sound of football chants drifting from Tynecastle, was calming and invigorating at the same time. Edinburgh gets so cluttered and frantic with humanity this time of year, it can overwhelm: from Blackford Hill it is always solid, firm and fixed. I felt small, properly unimportant and awed.

Next time I'm feeling jaded and tired of the city and myself, you'll know where to find me...


C'lam said...

hope your head is continuing to clear...

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The Gripes of Wrath said...

*looks up* Awww...look! My first comment-spam. Bless.
(Now, how do I get rid of it?)

c'lam: my head is forever and always hazy, with occasional moments of lucidity, but thanks for thinking of me in your "indisposed" state [read her blog to find out more. *shudder)]

Today is a good day...

C'lam said...

am less indisposed today - on road to recovery!

do blogger have some sort of comment control thing? or you might just have to not accept anon posters.

Anonymous said...

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!