Lifting The Spirits #1

My Dad’s exploratory surgery went well today but we won’t know the results until next week. I know a lot of people are going through tough times at the moment so I wanted to dedicate this week to a lifting of the spirits. In addition to my stories and usual musings I will show you some of the things in my life which never fail to lift my spirits.

The first is bridges.

Anzac Bridge

Have I ever told you how much I love bridges?

I love to drive over them. Walk over them. Stand on them and feel the wind in my face. Look up at them. Look across at them. Listen to the traffic as it roars along them. Watch the lights they cast at night.

A bridge is such a masterful feat of human ingenuity. Linking two parts of the city that would otherwise remain separate. It would seem to be a way of encouraging communities to meet and intermingle.

This is the Anzac Bridge which links the city and areas of Balmain, Glebe and Annandale. It is one of my favourite bridges in Sydney. If you look closely you can see the arc of the Sydney Harbour Bridge beneath it in the distance.

Anzac Clouds

I like how the clouds appear behind the bridge like a painted backdrop. From certain angles they seem to skim it. There is a fear they will be caught like a sheep’s fleece on barbed wire. I think a cloud would scream if it were caught on wire or steel. And people would fall to their knees in despair.

Bridges always lift my spirits. One of the greatest human inventions. Sometimes they seem to hang from nowhere in the sky. Linking the city like a chain.

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33 thoughts on “Lifting The Spirits #1

  1. It’s interesting that you are so inspired by bridges. I’ve never thought of them at all, but now I will. I will take a better look and try to pull some of your inspiration into my vision.

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  2. I am reading backwards so I have to catch up and find out what is happening with you father….

    I am TERRIFIED of bridges, I have this fear that they will collapse while I am trying to cross them, plus I am afraid of heights so that makes driving over bridges even more scary!!

    That being said, some how the way you worded this post almost ALMOST made me change the way I think and feel about bridges!

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  3. For you a bridge here in Ottawa. I believe it’s the Alexandria Bridge, the convent I attended in Grade 7 was at the end of the bridge, and they made us run it. I hated that bridge.

    DSCF0327
    DSCF0330

    I do hope every thing went well. 🙂

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  4. Me too! I love bridges, there always beautiful and always have fascinating stories in their building and histories. And as an image of unification, perfect. I should write a bridge poem. And your idea for the week is fantabulous.

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  5. I agree, bridges will lift your spirits and let me lift your spirits a little. Old Grizz has had several friends with prostate cancer and they are all alive well and happy . I believe your dad’s chances a real good and just to help him out, Old Grizz will put him his prayers. God bless him and you.

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  6. Selma, I am with Meleah – I am terrified of bridges – we have a tunnel here that you can take instead of the bridges and I’d rather take that instead. But I have to say bridges do fascinate me – in how they were built in the middle of the water etc… I’m sending you a link to a picture of one of the bridges here in Mtl. that i took last year! The city closes off the bridge during the fireworks competition so that people can go on the bridge to get a better view – but you won’t find me on that bridge watching the fireworks – my feet are planted firmly on terra firma.

    Jacques Cartier Bridge

    Hope you will get good results!!!! Thinking of you 🙂

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  7. I have always loved old covered bridges. One of my favorite books (and movie) is Bridges of Madison County. Of course the ‘love story’ was good too. When I need a “pick me up”, I like to drive out into the country and look at old barns, and of course covered bridges. There is just something so peaceful and encouraging about such old structures that have withstood the tests of time.

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  8. Forgot to mention my father just had a colonoscopy. His turned out well. I hope all goes well with your father. I know how hard it is to worry about your parent’s health. Just when we get our children raised, we have to turn our attention to our parents. My younger sister recently came to live with us. She has dementia – such a sad, sad thing.

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  9. LAURI:
    We watch a lot of docos about bridge building and I am amazed at the amount of effort and know how that goes into building a bridge. Our own Sydney Harbour Bridge has quite the chequered history. Fascinating stuff!

    HURRICANE:
    There is definitely an almost amusement park feel to a bridge. I find it disconcerting that people drive so fast on them and there is always that little frisson of fear that the bridge, although structurally sound, will collapse as we drive across it. I know what you mean!

    MELEAH:
    We see so many disaster stories in the news and in films that’s it no surprise people have a fear of bridges. Although I love bridges I’ve never done the Harbour Bridge climb that all the tourists do when they come to Sydney. That is way too high for me!

    NAT:
    I’ve got to say, I really love that bridge. Thank you so much for linking to it. The structure of it is just awesome. And what a beautiful spot!

    PAUL:
    I will look forward to your bridge poem. I am also fascinated by the history of bridge building. Some of those engineers are incredible – they overcome huge technical obstacles to get those bridges built. I love reading about it!

    OLD GRIZZ:
    Your kindness has brought a tear to my eye. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

    TBALL:
    That is also a fantastic bridge. But more than that – your photography is just coming on leaps and bounds. WOW. Thanks so much for letting me see it!

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  10. Certainly bridges are fascinating … you can’t watch the National Geographic Channel for long without something about one of the world’s favourite ‘megastructures’ coming on.

    I like the story of the Oresund Bridge, which joins Sweden and Denmark. My friend Stig reckons it’s there so the Swedes can drive across and get some decent beer … and having tasted Swedish beer, there’s probably a grain of truth there!

    Funny that misgivings about bridges have been mentioned … the only one that gives me the heebies is the Thelwall Viaduct, which carries the M6 over the Mersey.

    Let’s have a list of famous UK bridges:

    Tower Bridge
    Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
    Transporter Bridge, Middlesborough
    Menai Bridge, Anglesey
    Britannia Bridge, Anglesey
    Forth Bridge, Scotland
    Forth Road Bridge, Scotland
    Ashness Bridge, Cumbria
    Ribblehead Viaduct, Yourshire
    Iron Bridge, Ironbridge, Staffordshire … I could go on.

    Hope all is well with your Dad.

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  11. I’m glad your dad’s surgery went well so step 1 is over with. I will be keeping you all in my thoughts for next week and here’s hoping for the best result possible.

    I don’t mind bridges but I don’t like going under them in a car or by any means actually. I always think they are going to choose that very moment to collapse on top of me.

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  12. What a GREAT idea for a series of posts, love it!!!

    Can’t say I am a fan of bridges (not the big ones) Im actually quite anxious just driving over them, usually close my eyes. NO, Im not the driver at the time. ;<)

    I did walk over a swinging foot bridge years ago in Souris Manitoba that was quite a thrill at the time. Ahhh…no fear in youth, eh! I couldn't pull that off now.

    Hugs Sel, thanks for always being an inspiration and for making my day. Your blog is a must visit!

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  13. That’s weird, my comment just went POOF!!!!

    Anyways, I love your new post series idea Sel, LOVE IT!!!

    Can’t say Im a fan of bridges, the long winding ones in particular scare me silly. I ususally close my eyes, driving over these. NOT the driver btw. ;<)

    Take care Sel and many hugs. Thanks for always being my inspiration, you really are.

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  14. You are a poetic heart Selma. I love it….

    What an amazing description of what happens to the clouds. My God, I could almost hear them.!

    As for bridges….they give me the creeps, though love to look at them from afar.

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  15. you can be so selfless at times selma.. i truly need to learn from your example.. i live within an hours drive of the golden gate bridge but rarely if ever see it.. you make me want to take a drive into the city and reacquaint myself with the bridge.. maybe this time i could see more than just the horrific traffic!!!

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  16. I’ve been absolutely awful about keeping up on everyone and commenting of late and I’m playing catch up now.

    I hope your father’s results are good and will be watching for an update.

    Take care~

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  17. CRICKET:
    I am so sorry to hear about your sister. Dementia is very distressing for all concerned. How good you are to look after her. I’ll be thinking of you.

    I agree about the covered bridges and the old barns. They seem to come from another era, don’t they? There is a real air of romanticism about them. I love them too.

    TRAVELRAT:
    The things people will do to get a decent beer. That is so funny. Thank you for the list of all those bridges. I am going to google them all and have a good look. Oh, and my Dad is fine but we won’t get the results until Monday.

    KAYDEE:
    I have driven over a few rickety old bridges in the country and you think to yourself : ‘Is this thing going to hold?’ It can be nerve-wracking. Thanks for your kind thoughts, hon!

    GERALDINE:
    WOW. If I can be someone’s inspiration that is awesome. How lovely you are. My aunt always used to hold her breath when driving over a bridge. Actually, I think it was very good for increasing her lung capacity. LOL!

    TOBEME:
    I think they are. Definitely a metaphor for life. So many of our man-made structures are if we just take the time to look. Thanks for that perspective!!

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  18. DANA:
    It was odd because the other day I was looking up at that bridge in the photo and it did look like a cloud was caught on it. Can you imagone what would happen if a cloud were captured? Doesn’t bear thinking about!

    PAISLEY:
    The Golden Gate is my favourite bridge in the entire world. I have some fantastic photos of the time my sister, Shelley and I were there in the late ’80s. I have been trying to find them for days but they seem to be lost. I also have a painting of the bridge done by a local street artist. It is one of my treasures.

    I’ll definitely keep you posted about my Dad. XX

    EMPLOYEE 3699:
    Oh, me too. I am really behind. I just seem to keep running out of time.
    Can’t wait to hear about your visit to BlogHer.

    FAIQA:
    It is a very common fear. When I was travelling in my 20s I had to walk across this old rope bridge in Thailand. It was like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I made it across but every time it creaked I thought it was all over. Too scary!

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  19. Oh Sel, you and your dad are in my thoughts. I’ve known many people who fly (like those beautiful clouds from your bridge photos) through and conquer prostate cancer. I’m sending positive vibes across this ocean with only positive hopes that he is recovering well.

    Hugs to you and yours,
    Gel

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  20. Sunrises and Sunsets also inspire me. This painting of mine “Power of Hope”, hangs in the permanent collection of healing art in one of our are hospitals. I hope this transmits as a small thumbnail.

    Otherwise please delete it from this comment because I don’t want a huge photo taking up your blog, but you have my permission to copy it for your records and print it out (even though it has my copyright embedded on it, you can see it as an inspiration, please. I’ll send it to you in email.

    xxoo,
    Lynne Eve Grossman

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  21. I must tell you the story about the ‘old’ Severn Bridge … which carried the M4 across the estuary into Wales.

    It was a hot day, and I was driving an Land Rover. Ahead of me in the queue for the toll-booth was a Mercedes, with German plates.

    And, I distinctly heard a voice, with a lilting Welsh accent say:

    ‘I don’t want to see your pass-port! I must have two pounds, isn’t it?’

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  22. LYNNE:
    It is great to hear from you again. I really appreciate your kind words. It would be such an honour to receive a copy of one of your fabulous paintings. I would be grinning from ear to ear. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity.

    TRAVELRAT:
    Great story. I hope you write a book one day and include all your anecdotes. Your stories are wonderful!

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  23. I love bridges too. I agree about the Golden Gate, its really without equal if you ask me. We had the Singer Island bridge where I grew up. It was very tall and long, but made of concrete…not majestic like the GG.

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  24. I think a cloud would scream if it were caught on wire or steel. And people would fall to their knees in despair.

    Oh no, Selma, that’s not right… clouds use bridges and tall buildings as back-scratchers… Ooooo imagine the relief they must feel.

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  25. BEAR:
    Now stop trying to change my penchant for melodrama, will you? Come to mention it though, I do like the image of them scratching their backs. Good one!

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