I have a very good friend who loves to drive. Every time she happens to go over a bridge, she will take out her phone and snap a picture, admire it all the way through, exclaim a fact or characteristic or confess her love for the whole structure and its function and purpose.
Not many people are like this. Not many people show such excitement towards anything, better yet a bridge. I think about her strange and endearing passion towards these engineering feats quite often and I have truly tried to dissect the meaning and curiosity behind such a frequently overlooked route in which people take to go to and from.
Behind my deeper research into myself and my friend about her, and now my, excitement for these structures I have come to a couple of realizations.
3. Function And Art Are Skillfully Merged by very few.
I believe that it takes a genius, someone who can see beyond the immediate purpose of a structure, to make it beautiful, powerful - to withstand not only repeated use, but time. My greatest example of this would be Penn Station, built first in the 19th century vs. what it is today.
“One entered the city like a God. One scuttles in now like a rat.” - Architect Vincent Sully.
Penn Station is the first building I walk into during the day and the last one I walk out of at night. It’s a personal hell of mine. To imagine a time when this hub was an architectural masterpiece and National Historic Landmark really makes me question some human beings in their greed and gross inability to merge function and art. Every time I see photos of Penn Station from the 1800s - my heart drops. More than anything, I wish I could have seen it in its glory days.
“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.” - Anais Nin
I will forever admire the person whose patience is tested in creating something beautiful, something purposeful, bright and grand. I will admire the artist, the doctor, the businessman who does the same with her life - who will craft a journey that is long and important but colorful and romantic.
2. Sharing Your Excitement and passion Is Necessary and important.
Sharing comes so easily for some and so incredibly difficult for others. To share is an ability that can be learned, very well over time if you practice it. I find that my closest people are the ones who are not afraid to spill everything that is inside their brains, who would do anything to try to understand and embrace the madness. There are an incredible number of ways to read someone, to enter their intimate worlds - and if you share more of yourself, your happinesses, you can let someone into yours.
I am grateful that my friend has shared her love for bridges with me. She has opened my eyes to another beautiful way of looking at this life.
1. Life Is A Road With Bridges.
Hear me out on this one. Life is a very long road. It comes with twists and turns and speed bumps and detours and exits and stop lights and tons of other drivers and passengers and buses and jams and crashes. You know what it also comes with? Magnificent bridges. Beautiful, bolts-as-big-as-my-whole-body, proud bridges. They can make you want to cry - to see farther and wider than you’ve been able to. They connect time and space and allow people to live and feed their families. They are the hands that don't let go. They are the once-every-couple-of-years grand event that you develop the pictures from and glue into a photo album so that your children and then the children after that can point to and touch and ask you why you ever would get rid of those sunglasses or shoes.
Look for your bridges, take your time getting over the other side, cross them hard.