By Wendy Maitland
Forget the chat
sites and dating apps cluttering your life. Let's talk bridges.
In today's world of smartphone-emersion overtaking the slightest awareness of the live person standing next to you whose chemistry may mean she's your soulmate, ghosting and compassion breakdowns, the symbolism of bridges is more important than ever. I believe that building bridges, between ideas & ideals, among countries, and most importantly between human beings, is the key to unlocking real love and connection, and to saving the world.
Take a look at the Brooklyn Bridge, once the tallest structure in the Western hemisphere and dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World. Walk across the great structure with a new friend or an old lover, imagining the first time Manhattan and Brooklyn were connected. Look through the lens of the workers who, over the course of 14 years - costing the lives of at least two dozen of them - blasted the earth digging 78' and 44' deep on either side of the East River to reach bedrock to create the foundation to secure the world's first suspension bridge.
Consider the life of it's creator, John Augustus Roebling, born in Germany in 1806. Roebling tried his hand unsuccessfully at farming before becoming the world's greatest pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. His tenacity and creativity remind me never to give up and that any of us can achieve greatness in any number of arenas throughout the course of our lives.
Then visit Robert Longo's "American Bridge Project" at Hunter College above Lexington Avenue at 68th Street exhibited through December 1st. In Longo's renderings of the original First Amendment document and the American flag, his mission to provide a daily reminder of the importance of unity and free speech is accomplished.
Then phone a friend voice to voice, get together face to face, stow away your phones and have a conversation, eye to eye. Feel the chemistry in the moment. It may not be easy but you won't die of caisson disease. Thus the foundation to building a bridge has begun.
Instead of burning bridges, let's build some together.
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