Friday, May 6, 2011

Bridge to the Past

Yesterday I took I5 and crossed the river into Washington.  There has been a lot of talk about replacing this bridge.  It's too narrow to support traffic and does not allow for light rail to cross into Vancouver.  I understand that the project is necessary but I for one will miss the Interstate Bridge.


My dear friend samimi-extremie has been doing these lovely posts on longing.  She and I have been good friends for about 10 years now and I think we share that constant sense of longing.

Driving over the Interstate Bridge is an experience that, for me, brings that sense of longing to the forefront.  Portland has many bridges and they all conjure different feelings but this bridge is different.  It's special.  It's the bridge I crossed countless times to return to college after coming down to Portland to visit family.  It's the bridge I crossed to visit my college boyfriend when he spent the summer on Bainbridge Island and I in Portland.  Most importantly, it's the bridge I crossed in labor on my way to the hospital before my daughter was born.

Now when the occasion for me to visit Washington arrises the emotions associated with all of those memories come flooding back as I cross the river.  It's a feeling of deep melancholy and love.   A longing for times past, though I am quite happy with my life as it is now. I fear that when the bridge is replaced the longing will go with it.

To make things worse, for financial reasons they are talking about replacing it with a simple bridge similar to the I205 bridge crossing the Columbia only a few miles away.  There is no beauty to the new proposed bridge.  It is not the kind of place where memories are formed.

 Can you relate to the sense of longing I experience when crossing the Columbia? 

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  1. It is a gorgeous bridge!

    For me it's an area, the area in which I spent most of my childhood, where my late grandmother's house stood. The whole area has changed with the times. Gone are the old rustic homes with little gardens that I remember; in their place are swanky new condominiums with swimming pools and modern playgrounds. My grandma's house has now been sold and probably torn down. I still don't know because cannot bear to go there and see something else in its place. I miss it terribly and the memories I formed there

  2. I love that bridge and I haven't crossed it enough. I really loved how you connected it with memories of your own. That's how I feel about a lot of places that change despite how much I want it to stay the same.

  3. oh ellie, this post gave me goosebumps!! it is so beautiful and i love what you said about it. your longing will never go away, it is always there, it'll just be different now. but maybe transfer that longing to the water now, not the bridge. cos the river ain't movin'.

    p.s. we have diff. personalities, but a lot of similarities and i love you very very much.

  4. That would be such a shame for them to replace that beautiful bridge which such a fugly alternate!
    I used to hold attachments to odd things that brought back fond memories, like a tree in my dads garden or the wall of a tyre garage that looked like a spaceship etc but I've learnt to try and just think about the memories and not what reminds me of them because as your experiencing "things" dont stay around forever :(

  5. I can completely understand feeling a sentimental attachment to something like that, especially when the new one lacks the character and charm. I'm hope the memories (and pretty pictures) will help ease the transition!

    And thanks for the sweet comment on my blog!