I’ve burned a lot of bridges in my life, and quite frankly I am sick and tired of doing so. In many cases it was inevitable, due to relocation, and in the days prior to e-mail, life just got in the way. The older I got, the choosier I became with my friends, and the self-imposed distinction between those I called friends and acquaintances. With the former, they may be out of sight, but never out of heart. The latter, on the other hand, I have no problems with “out of sight, out of mind” and since the foundation is never really that solid to begin with, communication fizzles out quickly.

6.1.18z
Merging shores ©MTHerzog

As I walked around Prague and photographed my beloved bridges, I couldn’t help but reflect on the bridges I burned in 2017. Like it or not, it happened, and the losses thereof is painful. Bridges have always had a philosophical role in my life, the linking of two shores that were not naturally meant to be connected. There are temporary bridges, utilitarian bridges, and the more solid ones built with careful planning and awareness of the environment that enable the structure to withstand the elements.

Prague, Rome and Florence are wonderful places to admire bridges that have transcended from antiquity into the modern era, never losing their proud stance and stability. How I wish human relationships were like that in some way.  Bridges are not easy to build in the first place, and both shores need to be willing to participate in the construction, committed to the relationship that will ensue once the bridge is built. Take a look around the globe at cities with historical bridges and you will know what I mean. The devastation and isolation that follows the burning of a bridge is difficult to recover from, and in some cases, not attempted since it would be a futile effort.

The same goes with emotional bridges. The loss is debilitating and shattering. Suddenly it is no longer about the two shores that were linked but about the strong current that never seems to stop flowing and prevents passage, keeping them apart.

I had a very low point yesterday, and in spite of the fact that I was already dressed up, had taken the time to even put on my make-up, the emotional wave of chest pain and tears washed over me and I crawled back into bed and curled up. Thank goodness for my daughter who is here with me and held me, understanding my darkness and gently coaxing me back. Eventually I managed to step out and have dinner, but the anxiety of wanting to crawl back into bed loomed over me the entire time.

Others have shared their own struggles with depression with me, so I know I am not alone in this. It’s just easier to hear about it than to actually go through it. I still have difficulty with phone calls and answering personal emails, and continue hide within a virtual reality.

Click HERE for the supplementary photography article to bridges, written the day before.