about bliss

Saturday, August 08, 2009

daily bliss: bridges


The waters were not troubled. They were bluer than blue. I paid my three dollars, and deliberated whether to drive on the inside or outside lane. The inside lane turns to a thick metal grate that rumbles under the tires 1/3 of the way up the five mile bridge, whereas the outside lane is concrete all the way, but it is...close to the edge. The road crews working on the outside lanes made my decision for me. As I left da UP behind and crossed over to the Land of the Trolls, my spirit soared and the word home echoed throughout my being. I was sorta almost there, to my summer getaway and favorite place I've ever been, the Leelanau Peninsula.

On the way back to Wisconsin today, I drove over the bridge again, stopping and going along the highest spans of the structure, imagining the air rushing up under the metal grate, feeling every rumble of car tires, sensing my heart accelerate, and my fear of heights and weightlessness activating. I may have shed a tear or two or four at leaving my LP (lower peninsula) home behind, and facing the long expanse of da UP before reaching my new home.

lost highway, us 2

I often ponder how this lake I adore has shaped my life--through presence in childhood and absence in young adulthood, and now, largely, through making journeys farther than they would be if it weren't there. But, if it were not there...I wouldn't be here, or there, or even me.

One time a tourist approached my friend B and asked her where the bridge was.

"What bridge?"

"The one to cross the Lake," she insisted, even as B told her there was no such bridge in our town, and that the only bridge "across" the Lake was the Mighty Mac.

On days like today when I make epic drives around Lake Michigan's curvaceous shores, I almost wish for such a bridge, or at least a really swift boat, or, better yet, people with Trekkie powers to beam me home, making the transition between my past, present, and future smooth and quick and painless.

And yet. The time, the distance, the space between, whether traveled on slow boats or long two lane roads or congested freeways or delay-prone trains, clears a space in my heartmindsoul to feelthinkbe. And that's where I usually find...me.



  1. Oh, I love this post, so well conceived and well written. Love how you tie in your life with the journey. Makes me want to be in the Midwest (although truth be told the Georgia heat and humidity also contribute to that desire!)

  2. Say yah to da U.P., eh?!?

    What if the Trekkies didn't reassemble your molecules correctly when they beamed you wherever it is you wanted to go? Could make for a messy re-entry.

    Great post about the lake, and its place during various stages of your life.

    "But, if it were not there...I wouldn't be here, or there, or even me."