Crossing bridges to one another
There are so many heart-wrenching images of the senseless attacks on the civilian population of the Ukraine. One of these is the military personnel assisting elderly people and children across heaps of rubble from a bridge that Ukrainian forces destroyed to prevent Russian tanks from entering Kyiv. That image remains entrenched in my mind.
Destroying bridges, both for defensive and offensive purposes, is a sad commentary of war. Bridges, after all, are infrastructures that unite, not divide us. From pedestrian bridges to railway ones that span deep valleys where other vehicles cannot go, they are vital to us all. We cross bridges daily as we commute to our workplaces; we rely on them for commodities brought by transport for building materials, for vehicles and the food that we eat. Bridges are indeed an important part of our daily lives.
There exist, also, those invisible ones that link the mind, body and spirit. Those circuits we traverse multiple times every day. Metaphors are applied to describe them. Logic, reason and analytical traits we say emanate from the mind. And, which one of us has not been ‘heartbroken’, had ‘heartfelt sympathy, or searched for the ‘heart of the problem’? Just as logic and reason emanate from the mind, we say that the heart is the source of compassion and love.
Our individual destiny is in our own hands. All of the above-mentioned traits are carefully balanced on our conscience scale. How should I act under these circumstances? How should I choose or act in a certain way? How will the choice(s) that I make affect others? These are but a few considerations that motivate our behaviours.
Ultimately, it is decisions that we make that define who we are, or who we want to be.
It is through that process that we cross the spirit bridge that connects us to others. It is through interacting with others, both of our household and in casual meetings, that we continue to grow and to adjust our behaviours.
As I write these words, I am very cognizant of the fact that my words are a one-way bridge to you who read them. Bi-weekly, you may choose to read my words, yet always I am left with a touch of sadness, of loneliness, that I cannot hear your words. It would bring me pleasure to hear your voice express other dimensions about a particular topic.
To put this in a colloquial expression: “I’d love to shut my yap and listen for a change.” Such are the parametres of a monologue, however.
At the risk of ending today’s piece with that old verse standby, here is a little poem to summarize what I have written.
Bridges for pedestrians
Bridges for trains
Bridges for trucks, for buses and cars.
How important are the bridges
That bring us together
No matter how near or how far.
Linking mind, heart and spirit
Are those we traverse
As we journey each day.
We each mark our places
On bridges our choice takes us
The right one will show us the way.