As I write this, it is nearly Thanksgiving. I find for all the evil that has befallen the world this year, I still have plenty for which to be thankful. Indeed, this year I found the love of my life, someone who finally gets me the way I get her. We found something special in our sudden, but powerful connection that is irreplaceable, invaluable. and precious.
I heard a song today that made me think of us. One line in it directly inspired me to sit down and write what I am about to say. “Well, I’m a builder of bridges,” the song said, “and I could fly us up to the moon. When your time is limited, well nothing happens too soon.” The song is “Matter of Time” by Eddie Vedder, better known as the front-man of Pearl Jam.
I’ve long been gifted with the power of putting words together in ways that sound remarkably intelligent. But, for years, I’ve drifted from fancy to fancy, not really sure how to best use my writing talents for the common good of humanity. I’ve written poetry for many years, thousands of verses, many of which became discarded in years since. Still, many forsaken poems hang around my archives hoping to eventually see the light of day.
I have countless essays on hundreds of different topics. Some are derived from notebook musings and others from actual academic assignments. Many more are written on topics I couldn’t shake from my conscious mind without putting them into essay form. But, a great many of them revolve around my longtime obsession with trading card games. Sure, they were helpful to particular audiences at the time they were written, but their value to the world at large diminishes as the years pass.
I’ve spent countless hours over the past year editing and refining those pieces that I feel still deserve to remain published somewhere. While I still will write here and there, I’ve lost creative direction more recently, despite still note taking and musing on and off. But, hearing that song made me consider something about writing that I hadn’t thought about before.
When we decide to write, create any sort of art, or construct anything at all, we automatically become builders of bridges. After all, why do we use bridges in the first place? We have bridges to connect two places that otherwise would never meet. Writing offers one of the most straightforward ways to build mental, emotional, and spiritual bridges to countless others.
Whether people decide to cross those bridges or not isn’t up to us, though. Some will just stop and stare, maybe snap a photograph. Others will come halfway, then go back. But, when someone crosses that bridge and truly connects with our art, that’s the result we all long for when we set about to create. At least, I realize now that should be the end goal.
For years, my writing became a reflex when I didn’t know what else to do with myself. But, in late 2020, I was determined to no longer waste this gift for petty ramblings or on subjects that don’t truly matter. That’s not to say I won’t continue to share revised works from my archives. In fact, I am more motivated to do so as ever. To present my works in a totally nonlinear fashion makes them in a way even more timeless as the fruits of a tireless and often unappreciated artist.
I’ve refrained from writing about many subjects due to potentially causing immeasurable controversy and grief for me. But, what if something I write builds a bridge between ideas and concepts that people desperately need to read? What if I create a connection with others who actually understand their pains and their problems?
After all, none of us truly exist in isolation from one another. Many times our isolation seems, and even can be, self-imposed. But, most often, it’s that the bridges that connect kindred souls simply don’t exist just yet for us to cross. Writing helps to bridge these gaps; this is why I continue to write even when it doesn’t seem like any one is reading. Eventually, someone might just read my words at just the right time.
In fact, it was a written piece of great artistry and soulfulness that built the most important bridge I’ve ever crossed. Through it, I stared straight into a soul who desperately needed to find a new connection, and this piece succeeded in that task. I wish that my own works will one day build the same bridges for others who feel empty, lost, or otherwise befuddled to find some sort of comfort. I have a strong need for my words to work as well as that piece did for me.
I’m done seeing myself as a troubled artist, as I have for too long. Instead, I must see myself a builder of bridges through composition and wordplay. The trouble I’ve long had is I tend to write at a reading level that seems to exceed the general audience. This is not on purpose, but after all, bridges fail when they aren’t properly engineered or aren’t put quite at the right location. What good is a bridge that no one crosses? Of course, what good is a bridge that fails in its purpose of getting the visitor to cross to the other side?
Still, I can’t hold back expressing myself out of fear of judgment or misunderstanding. After all, such judgment is often borne from ignorance, contempt, or both. All I can do is keep writing and try to be as relatable in my prose and verse as possible. As long as our words persist in some sort of media, they forever stand as bridges, practically indestructible connections from one intellect to another.
My musings may simply be a sort of therapy for myself as I write them. But, it’s what they become once they are written, which then come to mean whatever they are interpreted to be by those who read them. In any case, it’s important our thoughts, feelings, and ideas be shared for others to wonder and ponder over for the rest of time. Our words are bridges for our thoughts to cross, and you never know just who may be waiting to receive them on the other side.
~ Amelia <3
5 things I hope you take away from this essay about building words to be bridges:
- Gratitude amidst adversity
- Writing as a bridge
- Purposeful writing
- Overcoming self-doubt
- The enduring nature of words
Photo copyright, Amelia Phoenix Desertsong: “Waitsfield, Vermont Village Bridge“