Picture This: The Beach at Brora

by Keith Savage · 2 comments


The firths of northern Scotland tick by like epic mile markers: Moray, Cromarty, Dornoch. Each bridge leads to another span of rugged grasslands and gorse-daubed hills sloping up to the ever-present low sea clouds. On my way to a distillery appointment at Clynelish, I explore the tiny town of Brora on the east coast of the northwest highlands. It doesn’t take long to find an empty stretch of forlorn coastline running north-south far beyond the strength of eyes to see its terminuses. A line of characterful boulders, their angled sides sharp and sheared like petrified gray matter, form a last defense against the daily tide. Looking north, I see every color of the Scotland in my mind: xanadu, slate, ultramarine, periwinkle, fern, feldgrau, mauve, taupe, mustard, and turmeric.

I think I remember clouds flickering the distant sunlight like moths around a lampshade, but this image has left my memory. Some time in the short months that have elapsed since I stood on this spot, I overwrote it. Almost certainly with a memory far more mundane and bereft of the meaningful spark this image holds. Almost certainly by the imperial intrusiveness of a billboard, a commercial, or a jingle. What can be done for my sad, little, overworked gray matter? Maybe to slip the net and disappear into this photo, from time to time.


HoggaNo Gravatar August 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM

You sir, have the heart of a poet…

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Raising a pint to you, Lindsay.

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