October 30, 2019

If we lift up the rug what will we find?

Des Quinn, 58

Edinburgh exudes the eternal sense of being a city of two parts: light and shade, sophistication and seediness, fur coat and absent unmentionables. I see in me, and others, these same tensions: the sunny, generous disposition lacquering over the dark, unwelcome thoughts. Although this dichotomous relationship is to be found in all cities, there is something peculiar about it in Edinburgh. It seems somehow more symbiotic, a bit more interdependent. One could not exist without the other. Perhaps that is why it draws such introspection and comparison as a living entity.

As we regard the great city what do we see? The old Royal Infirmary re-purposed as the new City Walls, the old dark spaces filled with shiny aspirations: just don’t think too hard about what came before. The inscrutable, outward face of the city staring us down as we move closer. A concrete and steel reminder of our own soft structures of ego and love that keep us upright.

Out here in the Meadows though there is only sunshine, for now. The darkness that hangs over the city will surely find its way to us. We cannot outrun it and eventually we will be overtaken. The city will endure.

If we lift up the rug what will we find?, 2019Photograph