Bridge of the Gods IV

#677/4: Jumpers || The ground falls away...

Bridge of the Gods IV
Image by David Greaves


The ground falls away. In 1940, the Bridge of the Gods was raised 44 feet to accommodate the higher water created by the completion of the nearby Bonneville Dam. By their nature, bridges must separate to convey. What is spanned is often overlooked, a sometimes-welcome casualty. Just get me from here to there, minus the details, the void, the history below (however worthy of consideration). Ponder the forgotten middles from the safe embrace of that desired other side, if at all. Keep moving beyond any guilt or shame. Looking across Lake St. Claire at night, the lights of the long, low, singular lake freighters glide across the horizon. Plying the channel, they haunted my childhood imagination, unpredictably present yet inaccessible, the most potent kind of spectre. The height and view, if I dare glance away from the narrow roadway, are what really justify the toll. All pleasure and no implications, the gods knew what they were doing. The ships define the distance, the potentially perilous in-between that claimed the two skating boys, subsumed into history by trying to make it. The ore that makes the steel that makes the boat that makes the bridge. En route. (Several years ago, I finally found myself aboard one of those thousand-foot phantoms, the deck so solid-seeming beneath my feet. I looked back to that shore in the early morning across the glassy smooth lake, like nothing could ever happen there.) Deliver me from the rising waters.

*Visit Bridge of the Gods to read all the past installments of this series.

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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