Thursday, July 16, 2009

Like a Bridge

The thing about a bridge - The Golden Gate, The Mackinac, Brooklyn, London, Pont Neuf, or Monet's Garden - the thing about a bridge is that its utility is lost on no one; its symbolism is lost on no one. It is as pure and straightforward a thing as mankind has created. Is it in spite of, or because of that, I wonder, that there are so many designs, so many ways of solving what is, essentially, the same problem? Oh, I know any engineer would tell me, rightly, that each is a unique problem, but my point is that 100 engineers would design a hundred different bridges to get the same path across the same same stream. Vive la difference!
A bridge, a home, a lighthouse, a fireplace, an airplane - all utilitarian things that also have tremendous symbolism, and all have been designed in almost as many ways as have snowflakes or pebbles on a beach - alike, but not alike.
I suppose I'm writing not about bridges at all, but about the beauty of the human mind; about whatever is that instinct that makes us want to create, to BE, something different.
Perhaps we should celebrate our difference with each bridge we cross.
~ Ralph Murre

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