Invisible and Visible Bridges

When I drive, I often don’t know when the straight asphalt surface skims over a waterway beneath me. The road ahead looks normal, but it actually takes me from one edge of a body of water to the other side, while I’m completely unaware of having been on a bridge at all.

In Venice, Italy, a car-free town, arched bridges span hundreds of canals. Walking, I huff and puff up one side, stand atop to admire the view and then stride downward. To cross each bridge requires conscious effort. I feel satisfied when I reach the other side.

When I remain aware of my location and thoughts, as I am when crossing a Venetian bridge, I’m conscious of how my thoughts and actions affect myself and others. I can make better decisions that allow me to grow in spirit. The other day, I worried about a particular situation that might arise and affect my son in the future. Luckily, I meditated on the problem, wrote in my journal and talked to spiritually-minded friends who could see a larger picture. I realized that my worries pertained only to a former personal experience. I’d been inappropriately projecting my past fear onto my son. If I’d remained on automatic-pilot, I would have mindlessly passed negative emotions on to him.

Each day, I’m on a spiritual bridge, somewhere between an enlightened mind and ordinary daily mental flotsam. No matter where I find myself at each moment, I hope to remain conscious, as I symbolically am on Venice’s bridges, of where my mind is on my inner sacred pathways.

Cate Burns is the author of Libido Tsunami: Awash with the Droll in Life, in which she unearths the ludicrous in the emotional live traps surrounding us — in families, friends and disastrous romances. Get it on Amazon today.