Bridge of the Gods

#671/1: Higher Powers || The two towers soar...

Bridge of the Gods
Image by David Greaves

Higher Powers

The two towers soar. The new bridge spanning the Detroit River is exalted, a bold statement of grace and power visible for miles. Its scale, like a cathedral, humbles. The Bridge of the Gods is girders and rivets, two narrow lanes across the broad Columbia, an unremarkable statement of traditional engineering and utilitarian modesty, there to get the job done. Underneath, the river glides by, flat and wide, comfortable in the gorge of its own making, but still silently aching for the ocean. Several unnatural dams cross its path, subsuming ancient, upstream rapids to capture the river's energy and convey it away. Buried within thick concrete walls, turbines spin, whine, generate progress. The Bridge of the Gods is meek in comparison, almost an afterthought. Any awe comes from a simple perspective of height, not the structure itself, all means and no ego, connecting opposing shores far below the looming mountain ridges and basalt palisades. For a moment, midway across, I briefly feel exalted at a kind of transitory apex, suspended among the surrounding geologic forces. It feels precarious, but also clearly borne of something deep, universal, and profound. [I shudder, not fully knowing why.] Can modesty be this deceiving?

Peter Nicholson

Peter Nicholson

Peter is a writer, multidisciplinary creative, and entrepreneur who founded Circa 250; Foresight Design Initiative, a sustainability-focused innovation consultancy; and Yoga Horizons, a yoga studio.

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