Week 8 Recap

Another successful week has come and gone. My Daniel story still has not made its way onto my schedule. I will not say that I am going to do it this week, because for the last two weeks I have said that I would get to it and have not. So do I still consider last week a success? Yes. Yes I do.

The enjoyment of my work comes from the enjoyment of my readers. This week has been very rewarding for me. I have received some very encouraging feedback, and this week in particular readers have expressed how much they have enjoyed themselves in the Park. So therefore, I appreciate everyone who took the time to read. Searching for time and fighting the feeling of being unproductive becomes a lot easier when you know there are people who enjoy what you do. Many times I write as though I have the entire United States as an audience. Even though I do not, I carry the image to always produce. So when I hear positive feedback, it means a lot. So thank you all.

On Monday, November 3, I wrote on the appreciation that you should have for your own life. A lot of times we lose focus on our lives. In doing so, food, shelter and clothing become things that  don’t matter. If we keep these three things in mind, with God at the forefront, we should all be able to know that we live pretty good lives. If we go through things or have been through things, take them as learning experiences and keep moving forward. Always focus on what’s ahead and take the time that you have to be grateful and happy instead of complaining about what you do not have.

Tuesday, November 5, I wrote an impromptu essay about fighting off the pressures of name-calling in order to reinvent yourself. I was actually just sitting and thinking about a few changes I have to make in order to become a better individual. As I was thinking about how minor the changes were that I have to make, I started to compare myself (which is not always a good thing to do) to people who have to make major changes to their entire lifestyles. I only have to worry about making the changes; I don’t have to think about making the changes along with people talking about you and discouraging you from moving forward. The hardest part of making changes for the better, will be people who remind you of what you were. If you can get past that though, everything will be okay.

Thursday, November 6, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture held by Professor Leslie M. Harris of Emory University, on her book Slavery and Freedom in Savannah. My perspective was opened to a lot of things that I thought I already knew. (I may owe the British a personal apology for my biased United Stated views, but I’ll see after I finish the book.) I learned a lot about the history of Georgia and slavery that I had not known in an hour-long lecture. I look forward to completing the read. As far as Leslie Harris is concerned, she was a delightful person that I am glad to have the pleasure in meeting. She shared some valuable insight with me concerning making progress. I’m sure she is very well rehearsed in making everyone she talk to feel like some type of special, but nonetheless, I appreciated her wisdom and look forward to using it to move forward.

Saturday, November 8, (when I should have been doing my recap) I completed Bridges. I just had fun doing that article. I brought back some good childhood memories. I will be hunting on Amazon for Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Great Mouse Detective (it’s on Netflix; check it out), and Disney’s Peter Pan (1953). I just enjoyed raking my own brain, trying to figure out how I came to develop an admiration for something I had no idea I cared about. That was just fun and I really enjoyed writing it.

Well, that’s all for last week. I haven’t had much time to prepare anything for this week, but I’m sure there will be something we will find to chat about. I added a Contact page to the blog, so please feel free to reach out with topics or questions that you may want my Perspective on as a guy, a Christian, a Black-American, a writer or whatever. Even if we disagree, that’s good too because disagreements raise more room for thinking than two of the same perspectives.

Have a great week ahead! Keep an open perspective! Show compassion!

And smile… Life is better when you smile. I found that it’s easier to meet people, greet people, and even get through to people if you address them first with a smile. So try to smile a bit more this week! 🙂

Bridges

I like bridges.

That’s it.

No long drawn out explanation of the metaphorical meaning of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” or anything like that (even though soul can’t be sang better). I simply like bridges. Perspective complete.

However…

Since we’re on the topic, I will in fact, tell you about how I realized this new found architectural admiration.

Every Monday through Friday morning, I drive to work via Martin Luther King Drive in Atlanta. I’m one of those people that you do not want to get stuck behind on your morning commute. That morning stretch is sometimes the only peace and quiet I will get all day, so I enjoy it; neglecting the expressways if possible, and always looking for something to grasp my attention and curve my perspective.

Since I take pleasure in pretty much every morning’s travels, I have not established markers for “distance-to-go”. You know the checkpoints that you have to signify you’re halfway there? Yeah, I don’t have those for my Monday through Friday mornings. I do have though, two views that I wait to see every day. Last week, I noticed that both of those views were centered around old bridges that to me, seems to fit in multiple decades, locations and serve multiple purposes. They give an awakening definition to the little area that they are set in, that would have otherwise simply been more pavement and open air.

The first bridge crossing MLK nearing downtown Atlanta.
The first bridge crossing MLK nearing downtown Atlanta.

 

Second bridge crossing over MLK connecting the separation of the Atlanta University Center
Second bridge crossing over MLK connecting the separation of the Atlanta University Center

It was not until last week upon this realization, that I gathered as many mental references as I could to see if I liked bridges or just those two views in particular. As I wrote out my bridge list, I started to see that I had actually developed a subliminal obsession with the structures.

Inception

The earliest reference to bridges that I can remember could be one of the two; The Great Mouse Detective or Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Great Mouse Detective was a children’s mystery movie that was rereleased in 1992. I watched had on VHS, so it was probably 1993 when I saw it. I was six or seven years old. The movie took place in London where the climax was set in the Big Ben clock tower overlooking the Westminster Bridge. Now imagine watching this movie at least once a week with the most exciting part including The London Bridge in the background… The imagery is bound to stick with you.

The second and more seasonable explanation, Three Billy Goats Gruff, was my favorite book for a long time. I remember it being especially my favorite once my mother gave birth to her third son, also known as the First Billy Goat. That made me the Third and biggest Billy Goat to defeat the Troll that lived under the bridge. After reading this book over and over again, my brother, the Second Billy Goat and I, would always look for the Troll while traveling under a bridge. Thank God we never saw anything that resembled a troll back then. I’d probably be terrified of bridges… and interstate 85.

In grade school, I remember doing a project to prove the strength of a triangle. With popsicle sticks (the staple of any grade-school project) I constructed a very elementary style bridge that supported the weight of toys that should have been too heavy for popsicle sticks. Maybe this is when it started. From the bridge list, this was the only instance where I had hands-on experience with building one, but I have not thought about that bridge since I crossed it. 🙂

Romantic

There is something about a bridge that provides a level of romance that no other setting can. Not just any bridge though. It has to be the old-fashioned cobblestone bridge set over a quiet brook in the middle of Autumn; just cool enough out for a sweater. Is it cliché? Yes. However, I remember a painting that I saw in a textbook, of a woman with a parasol crossing a cobblestone bridge. Since I have a soft spot for scenic art and poetry, the image stuck. Despite nearly an hour of searching Google for it, I am starting to believe that I might have blended multiple art pieces to compose one image. Nonetheless, I still hold that image as the crest of visual romanticism. I am annoyed that I cannot find that image, but I implore you to do a Google Image Search of: Cobblestone Bridge Painting. They may not be what I was looking for, but they still project the feeling of love that I have attached to the image in my head.

Detached from the idea of this image of romanticism, the most memorable date I have been on, was spent not on a bridge, but a small pier. I consider a pier to be half of a bridge, or a dead-end bridge. As I think about the surroundings of that outing, I have to question whether or not it is the presence of water that I adore instead of the bridge itself. I hate water though. I can’t swim and hate being wet. Therefore, back to the original statement; I love bridges.

Metaphorically

I would have just ended with that, but oh well… I’ll make it short.

The literal definition of a bridge is a structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle.

Metaphorically, it’s the means you have to take to get from one point in life to another. How long it takes you to get to the bridge, to cross it, and forget it is all up to you. Often we find comfort where we are and stay there until circumstances start to push us to a point where we can no longer be comfortable. It should not be that way though. Complacency is a killer, and when life pushes just a little harder than you can stand, you could easily find yourself stumbling across “bridges” hoping that each step finds a sturdy landing. If prepared, with the proper support cast (God is enough; everyone else helps though), you can come to places of hardship in life and walk across the scariest bridges successfully. Whatever you may be running from or trying to escape or break free from, will force you off an edge or to cross the bridge ill-prepared. So you may as well pay no mind to what’s behind you and focus on each step towards a future of greener pastures; Trolls will be taken care of by your support cast. No need to worry.

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In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying my rides to work while I continue to grasp this new-found interest. I may build one as a project. Who knows?