Friday, November 7, 2008

Applying Villette

"I went wandering whither chance might lead, in a still ecstasy of freedom and enjoyment; and I got...into the heart of city life. I saw and felt London at last: I got into the Strand; I went up Cornhill; I mixed with the life passing along; I dared the perils of crossings. To do this, and to do it utterly alone, gave me, perhaps an irrational, but a real pleasure... In the city you are deeply excited." Villette, Charlote Brontë

I have wandered wherever luck takes me ("Be well. Be lucky," Leonard Cohen said last night). I have gained an ecstasy of peace without realizing it. I found an old friend in Dublin, I find a new one in Glasgow ("dear green place"), which is more hardscrabble and hence more, in a way, me (but less home than Dublin, which has held my heart for years).

I have seen and felt Glasgow. I passed the old Custom House; I went up Saltmarket to the Necropolis; I listened to the round-cornered talk all around me; I bought green beans and apples and chocolate. The key is indeed the solitude...and the pleasure is not irrational.

Happiness with the Dubs, happiness with the Weegies. (And think how great Brontë would be considered today if she had better bandied words like "weegie.")

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