Tuesday, June 21, 2011
White Night Night
Following the river down the never setting White Nights sun, the landscape opens up to the giant cobble stone square in front of one of the most magnificent palaces I have seen. At night its quiet stilness is even more daring and the pride of the facade breaks through where otherwise noisy day tourists make the place much more about themselves than about the beauty of the Hermitage, the Winter Palace for some of the most influencial Tsars of Russian history. Its playful pastel green paint contrasted with the white columns mimics the illusion of a lighthearted background, when in fact this palace is a warrior withstanding some of the toughest conditions anyone or anything has had to face. The Leningrad blockades were the most recent where not only men but also stone were subjected to cruelty, shame, starvation, and the depletion of soul.
These days, almost forgotten, and littered with happy brides frolicking in search for the best picture, the square must hide its medals behind its playful pastel green coat.
At the moment though, I enter the square just as the lighting begins to flicker on, almost in its own ligt show, as some lights are delayed, some flicker, and some are ready to shine piece by piece. Its own fireworks before the full light. The saxophone, as if on cue, starts to cry a sad melody, and my sadness makes me want to give him everything I have in my pocket, just so one of us at least feels some joy. Listening to him, a few horse hoofs in a distant courtyard, and a few barely audible horns honking in celebration are the only sounds to greet me this evening on this lonely Hermitage square. The sky refuses to darken, as the clouds surround the sky in a dance of the shadows. They are grey in contrast and again deepen the mood for deep thoughts sent to the heavens.
It is true that every city has a different soul that comes out at night, and I have had a glimpse of this one. The bridges surounding this beautiful oasis have been lifted and stand high lifted in all their strength, and the soul of this city can sulk to the rythem of the saxophone undisturbed and unafraid of its own vulnerability.