The Bridge. No, Not The One You're Thinking!

There are all shapes and sizes of bridges in the world. They take us from all kinds of places to all kinds of purposes. But there is one bridge which stands alone. Stands for all others. It calls for the trip from birth to death we all must travel. It’s the bridge called life.

Here’s the thing about this bridge. While we’re all traveling on it at the very same time – the young and the old, the just born and the soon to die – our footsteps are walking different parts of it. The journey for those of us at the front end is new and long. The journey for those at the back end is older and shorter.

Which helps explain why we can see and talk with one another on this bridge, yet cannot quite share the passage in exactly the same way. Sometimes we call this the generation gap between us. Or perhaps simply the years between us. Those on the front end have the energy and the zest those on the back end have yielded up. Of course, in the yielding it’s hoped there’s been some gaining as well.

There’s something each traveler has to offer the others may lack. As the Bible puts it: Young men see visions; old men dream dreams. And lets remember visions and dreams are equally vital. Equally efficacious. A fact youngsters may have trouble with when it has to do with their parents and teachers. At the same time it’s a fact elders may have trouble with when it comes to the youth culture in which they find themselves.

Maybe it all simmers down to this pregnant notion of “now.” We’re a very now-society. Living in the “now” has a great appeal to Americans. However, no “now” stands by itself. No “now” is all there is. The exalted carpe-diem “now” is only one in a series of “now’s” that make up this bridge.

Think of it this way. Whether our “nows” are many at the front end of the bridge or few at the other end, there’s a fact and a force that binds and bonds us all here. A shared understanding that the bridge-builder didn’t promise us an easy trip; but he did promise us – young and old alike – a safe arrival.

An unspoken covenant that exists with the first hesitant steps we take on the bridge; later with our last faltering steps as well. Perhaps the only ones who can really see this would be the astronauts. But lets not wait to get up there and see for ourselves. For now, how wise of us down here to start traveling this bridge right!

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  • We feel we are at the edge of an abyss .... there is no bridge across to be seen ... the "Horrible Depression" confronts the majority of persons inhabiting this small orb .... I fear 'gaps' of age less than the space that separates many a mother and child from the security of shelter and food ... and youth of both genders facing an ever increasing 'chasm' that widens and separates them from opportunity and employment. Few have the fortune to travel the "Freeway" [pun intended] on life’s highway .... so many in the "now" have neither 'vision nor dream' ... they have instead 'fear & anger' ... would that the valley before so many was 'green' and restorative ... but that is just not so ... and the bridge across a decaying pit is necessitated for the well being of so many ... we do not think that the 'promise' of a 'safe arrival' evokes a comfort for many a soul .... Most wish to go across on a tactile and secure 'Bridge' of some substance even if it is unadorned and truly 'public' in appearance ...

    Perhaps it is just the grey skies of a sullen Tuesday and the spectre of foreboding headlines ... this is a day when we see as through a glass darkly .... and we fear for the least capable of our brethren scattered across hill & dale ... who seek in their lives a bridge to a more hopeful tomorrow ... few need it to be paved with gold ... all wish it to be sturdy enough for passage.

    Hmmmmm … sometimes the words you set down Jack just provoke response though we are hopeful that you are of a better disposition than this downcast Canuck who senses … senses something larger is afoot … perhaps a shoe about to fall?

  • Oh dear downcast Canuck -- it's pretty hard not to share your grim gaze. Your thoughtful extrapolation above is certainly thought-provoking. My only reason for harboring a little more hope is that the "builder" of the Bridge is someone whose promise for a safe arrival is far more reliable than any of our fellow travelers. And thus...I continue to hope

  • Hmmmmmm ..... "And thus...I continue to hope" ...... a good thing Jack .... maybe the best of things .... and no good thing ever dies.

  • Referring to my first abysmal posting here .... The first shoe has definitely dropped ..... Certain of our family members lost tens of thousands this day .... so now we wonder if the second shoe will drop shortly …. These are worrisome days for those who invest or ‘speculate’ by any reasonable other name or am I being obtuse by my Lack of insight/discernment as to all the fine things that Wall Street produces by way of its actions?

  • You're not being "obtuse" at all...we are all the tail being wagged by the big dogs on Wall Street, the EU and China....as ever, we little guys are the anvils, never the hammers!!!!!! Long long sigh...

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    ...If you like mixed metaphors, that is!

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