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Inspiration: Building Bridges…

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“Knowledge of other people’s beliefs and ways of thinking must be used to build bridges, not to create conflicts.” Kjell Magne Bondevik

Inspiration: Building Bridges... Westminster Bridge

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent , bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did the sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Do you have a favorite bridge you enjoy crossing? What do bridges mean to you? Bridges are magnificent, sturdy structures that help us cross a body of water; separating where we want to go from where we are. They are also used as a metaphor for connecting people, ideas, beliefs, goals, our dreams and everything that matters in our lives. I love bridges and have crossed some stunning bridges in my lifetime. But, what stands out again and again is the image of a thousand hands joined together, stretched across an expansive ocean, embracing all people, and building bridges that ensure all cross safely and peacefully to the other side. What bridges do each of us need to build?

“We have a long way to go before we are able to hear the voices of everyone on earth, but I believe that providing voices and building bridges is essential for the World Peace we all wish for.” Joichi Ito

Inspiration: Building Bridges… Brooklyn Bridge

Inspiration: Building Bridges... Brooklyn Bridge

To Brooklyn Bridge by Hart Crane
How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull’s wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty–

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
–Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,–
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky’s acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still. Contd below

What wisdom have we learned from bridges? The bridge metaphor is used in all forms of communication; in times of war, in martial arts, in peace time diplomacy and even in dream therapy. It communicates a stance, a way to reach out and close a gap that weakens our position… Even though it has a number of different meanings, we immediately turn to the first idea – building bridges to each other and even to ourselves. More below!

“Sometimes you have to, as I say, build bridges where you can – but draw lines where you must.” Fred Thompson

Inspiration: Building Bridges... Golden Gate Bridge

To Brooklyn Bridge by Hart Crane
And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,–

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path–condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

The first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, it took my breath away… Of course, I imagined it to be gold in color which it is not but nevertheless, the sheer size of it, and the way the sun reflected off it made for amazing views and memories. I was crossing that bridge to embark on a new life as a married person; love and hope escorted me across that bridge.  The bridge represented our decision, as two people from different cultures, to build bridges to new pathways. Much has changed since that first visit. We’ve all had our ups and downs, as they say, it’s all water under the bridge now… I still love bridges and we all ought to work harder at building a few symbolic bridges of our own; locally, nationally, and globally…  Stay Inspired! What about you?  What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite bridge you enjoy crossing? What do bridges mean to you? What wisdom have you learned from bridges? Do you find inspiration from your favorite bridges? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: May the bridge you cross lead you to a place of peace, love and resolution.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Westminster Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, via Wikipedia. And/Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

31 Comments leave one →
  1. 13/04/2012 12:17 am

    i like golden gate. someday i have to go there. huft ganbatte !!!

    • 13/04/2012 12:24 am

      TY and I love it too… one of my favorites. 😉

  2. 13/04/2012 4:34 am

    you’ve got a great view on Brooklyn Bridge!

    • 14/04/2012 10:43 pm

      TY! I took it from the top of 7 World Trade Center.. The views were spectacular but my toy camera wasn’t quite up for the task. 😉

  3. 13/04/2012 5:42 am

    The thought that came to my mind is…That bridge will sustain, if the land each end of the bridge stands on…remains steadfast and strong…Just love your intuition!…Learning every day… ~mkg

  4. 13/04/2012 7:17 am

    When I read your article the first thing that came to my mind was the many dreams that I’ve had about bridges. Usually, I’m in danger of falling off of them or fall off. So, in real life, I’m often a bit scared of them. 🙂
    I am often in awe of bridge construction too especially the many bridges I’ve driven over in my travels out west to national parks out west in the U.S. Some of them are amazing feats of human engineering and dangerous work, so I appreciate them too.

  5. 13/04/2012 7:30 am

    I’ve been across many bridges…walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and the bridge over the Royal Gorge in Colorado, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and dozens of others. One of the most exciting things was watching the progress of the building of the Veranzano Bridge in NYC.
    Building bridges of understanding can be a more difficult thing…it seems we are always a “work in progress” regarding that. 🙂

  6. 13/04/2012 7:50 am

    London’s Tower Bridge is a good one. Always wanted to see the Brooklyn Bridge, which I did 8 years ago, sad but it was on my ‘Bucket List’ of places to see 🙂

  7. 13/04/2012 8:10 am

    The first time I saw the Golden Gate bridge was a bit shocking. I was in SF for an art expo at the old military base near the bridge. It was my first visit to SF and we rushed to make the expo in time to set-up so there was no sight seeing even along the way.
    Once we had our booth set-up I went to get coffee, which was at the back of the hall. There were big windows all along the left side of the building and as I got halfway toward the back I saw your picture in real life out of the window and stopped dead in my tracks! I was truly awe struck!
    Thanks for bringing me back to that great memory Elizabeth!

  8. 13/04/2012 8:45 am

    Driving over Golden Gate Bridge was exciting for me… But the bridge I am most fond of is Hammersmith Bridge in West London, which I traveled over every day on my way to school. It is quite ornate, and to me beautiful…

  9. 13/04/2012 11:15 am

    I am dying to walk across the London Millennium Bridge.

  10. 13/04/2012 3:34 pm

    I don’t often think of bridges. The only physical bridge I remember taking really conscious note of was the one I crossed over en route from Seoul to what would be my new home in rural South Korea. The bridge seemed to stretch on forever.

    The only other context in which I reflect on bridges is in re: words. I truly believe that words are our bridges to other souls, and that treating them as such benefits all.

  11. 13/04/2012 3:36 pm

    When we were returning to the States from Japan in the early 60s, we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Below on the lowest deck was a large group of soldiers returning from their stint in Korea. They started singing God Bless America–I’ll never forget that moment.

  12. 14/04/2012 6:24 am

    Here in Puerto Rico we have just a few bridges that are beautiful, but I don’t have a favorite. Beautiful poems, I enjoy them.

  13. 14/04/2012 9:34 am

    Hart Crane’s “Brooklyn Bridge” just rings in my heart right now. This post is EXACTLY on target with my own quest to build strong connections across all dividing lines around the world for peace. I am reblogging right now.

  14. 14/04/2012 9:36 am

    Reblogged this on granbee and commented:
    Dear frriends and fellow questers, please soak up the essence of this post on building bridges across all dividing lines. Please take time to meditate on Hart Crane’s wonderful ode to “Brooklyn Bridge”. Blessings on you all this weekend!

  15. 14/04/2012 1:06 pm

    Someone took an amazing photo of the 2 towers of the Golden Gate Bridge being struck by 2 separate bolts of lightning on Thursday night..BIG thunderstorms!.. energizing the connections…

    • 14/04/2012 10:44 pm

      TY and I’ll check it out shortly… Glad to see you here. How are you doing? 😉

  16. 14/04/2012 3:51 pm

    I love this post – bridges are a marvel of engineering – I love their shapes, their lines, their angles (they are my subject for this week’s photo challenge) – and the metaphor they represent.

  17. 14/04/2012 6:24 pm

    Love the Brooklyn Bridge! You always come up with the most clever posts. I really like the idea of the bridge as a metaphor. I’d never considered that before, but it maps on perfectly.

    • 14/04/2012 10:45 pm

      TY! I hope I can keep it up… I love that bridge and many others too. 😉

  18. 15/04/2012 12:38 am

    The opening quotation is wonderful – the next time I write about Cultural Intelligence, I’m going to use that, most definitely!

  19. 15/04/2012 7:27 am

    The GG Bridge did take my breath away too. It’s a beautiful one. Not sure that I have a favorite — I’ve loved every bridge I’ve come across so far. I’ve often wondered about the architects who design them. What inspires them, what message/s they’re communicating, etc. Bridges are a magnificent feat of human engineering and ingenuity.

  20. 15/04/2012 10:45 am

    I love bridges! I just came back from S.F. with glimpses of the GG. I think I have a spiritual relationship with the draw bridges in Portland, OR. 🙂

  21. 15/04/2012 3:52 pm

    Golden Gate is definitely my favorite. When it is foggy, you don’t see it until you are upon it then BAM!

  22. 16/04/2012 8:46 am

    Wonderful theme for a post! I love bridges too!

  23. 19/04/2012 11:37 am

    I miss the bridges in New York. Thank you for sharing.

  24. 21/04/2012 1:36 am

    Lovely post about bridges. Many bridges around the world are beautiful pieces of architecture!

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