Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 - Little Bridges


I like little bridges better than big ones.  The big ones take me across something too huge to comprehend:  An entire river, a highway over several streets, a way to get from one country to another.  Those are some really big bridges.  A lot of talk and squabbling and money and politics go into those big bridges.  They look nice lit up at night and they get you where you need to go (if you must), but they sure do give you a woozy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re halfway across.

From one condition to another.
But not the little ones.  The little bridges are there for a simple reason, usually just to pass over something such as a small gully like that in the photo or to make travel more comfortable and less muddy.  Those are honest bridges.

I still get the “bridge feeling” when I go over a little bridge, though, sometimes even more than when I go over a large bridge.  It’s a feeling like I’m passing from one world to another, and while I’m on the bridge, I’m in a special “in between state” that is both of the worlds and neither at the same time.  When I step on to the bridge, my mind tells me I’m leaving the old behind.  When I step off the bridge, my mind tells me I’m starting something new.  It’s a psychological thing.

And speaking of that, have you ever “bridged” a conversation with someone?  It’s something you do where you change the subject when you’re speaking with someone.  You start with what you were talking about and then you do a sort of transition into a new topic that you cleverly relate to the first topic, whether there is a relation or not.  Then you continue on the new subject.  That’s called bridging.  It’s a little bridge, just like the one in the photo.  It gets you over a muddy place, and it’s fairly honest.

Little bridges are good for that, but they have to be little bridges.  If you do it right, the conversation flows smoothly.  But if you use a bridge too big, your friend will be talking neurosurgery while you’re talking gardening.  See what I mean about big bridges?  Talk, squabbling, and politics.  Stick with the little bridges, and if they have pretty stones and little steps and a solid wooden structure to them, they make the journey all the nicer. If they’re at an entrance into the forest, you can bet that the world you’re about to enter is infinitely more interesting than the one you’re about to leave.

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