Architect and Arsonist

Bridges must be well maintained
Building them is just a small part
Having two sets of hands to weld
Maintenance alone is hard on the heart

Some will be stronger than others
Some, architectural works of art
Integrity of structure ensures longevity
Without it you’re doomed from the start

They will all further your adventure
They will even help you restart
Some you will never really cross over
And a few will tear you a part

So may your bridges always be sturdy
Set them straight, they will set you apart
I hope you never have to burn them
If you do, see your flames as the work of art

I wrote this after TED X GuelphU. The theme was building bridges, with nature, within ourselves, with others. Multidisciplinary minds came together over the idea of community. I came home with so much inspiration, new ideas and questions filling my head. The day had me pondering many of my relationships as well. The MC for the day posited the idea of relationships as bridges that must be maintained. That there is constant work to be done to keep them passable. I myself have experienced this, the one sided friendship, or the relationship that is toxic and needs to be removed. I have been all to good at burning bridges in my life.

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.” – Tom Stoppart, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

People come and go from your lives, some will mark you forever, some will teach you lessons, some will pull you from deep holes you’ve dug for yourself. The bridge can also be seen as a challenge, and I am such a strong believer that we do not get through the challenges in our lives without a network of support. As I come to an end of my time in once city, where I went to school, made friends, and fell in and out of love too many times, I realize how different it will be. My relationship with so many people will change, some will dwindle, some will stay strong. I’m vowing to myself to put in as much effort as I can into nurturing the bonds I’ve made here. To put down the pack of matches I’ve been all too good a wielding in the past.

There are people in this town with which I would not have lived through some of the burning bridges. Those who weathered unfathomable storms created in my own head, or by my crossing a dangerous bridge. When you are at your worst, sometimes you are lucky enough for someone to see you at the bottom of your hole, reach their hand in and pull you up, allowing to realize that you weren’t that far down after all. I’ve been through painful things, I’ve grown through them. I get told frequently that I am strong for what I’ve lived through. The real strength is those who have pulled me to where I stand now.

While burning bridges is sometimes necessary, so is maintaining them. Both are things which will not necessarily come naturally to you, but both are things that will be vital skills.


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