05 July, 2015
inked. tramp stamp. flash. tat-wizard. colour bomb.
yes, I’m talking about tattoos. I have been contemplating getting one for years. I know exactly what I want and where I want it. I just need to do it. I don’t know what is holding me back. Actually that is a lie. I do know what is holding me back… the permanence (yes, I know you can get laser removal…but still…).
Memorialising. Expressing. Artistic Embellishment. Tradition. There are so many reasons one may choose to ink their ‘vessel’.
Earlier this week I asked a friend whether he would ever get a tattoo and what it would be – his reply; ‘yes….I really want a tattoo of the harbour bridge’.
I was shock.
The harbour bridge? Seriously?
In truth, I was not expecting that answer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the harbour bridge (I am a complete sucker for the NYE fireworks ‘waterfall’ off the bridge and my iPhone has atleast 32 photos of the bridge from all different angles). It is a truly spectacular Australian icon…but surely a tattoo of the harbour bridge is reserved for patriotic bogans or drunken backpackers?!
My bewilderment must have been written all over my face.
He immediately defended his point further; “Nix, it’s not so much about the visual image of the Harbour Bridge that appeals to be but more….what it symbolises…to be it represents home.. .”
My mind immediately turned to thinking about the symbolic nature of bridges….
For me bridges represent connection between two disparate entities. In the beginning, bridges were very simple structures that were built from easily accessible natural resources- wooden logs, stone and dirt. I like the way bridges themselves are a place between two worlds, as it is neither one nor the other. I see them as a place of safety or decision making. They can been seen as a symbol of transition.
Bridges offer a symbolic setting to express strong emotions. Just think of the movies – a man (or woman) waiting on a bridge to reconnect with his long lost lover…a deeply in love couple attaching a lock to the bridge in Paris….an anguished soul contemplating suicide on the top of a bridge…
Whilst writing this post, I also remembered listening to a really good TED talk by Sergeant Kevin Griggs titled; ‘The Bridge between Suicide and Life’ , He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of life. He gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be contemplating suicide. You can listen to it here.
I have been so lucky to cross so many beautiful bridges in my life so far; Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Rialto bridge in Venice. Tower Bridge in London. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Jumped off the bridge into a river at Semuc Champey (in Gautemala – worst wedgie of my life) And yes …crossed the Harbour Bridge thousands of times.
BUT my favourite bridge that I have visited is the one at Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s Twin Houses; their two residences were famously linked by a narrow bridge that joins at the rooftop. This bridge symbolically represents the bond their love. Such a simple piece of infrastructure which holds such great meaning – Frida Kahlo is my ultimate source of creative and feminine inspiration, she also once said: “Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change”…Amen sister!
I also believe people perceive bridges as mentally ‘bigger’ than they actually are. I think Sydney-siders are especially guilty of this. I can’t even count the number of times I have said or heard statements like; ‘I’m not attending that party as i have to cross the bridge’ or ‘oohhh you live on that side of the bridge’. Come on guys – it is a 1149m stretch of road…
I could probably write another 5000 words on bridges, but I should wrap it up. In celebration of bridges everywhere – whether they are man-made or products of nature, big or modest in size, stable or rickety…I have found some inspiring images which I wanted to share with you….
(image via bronsonsnelling)
the brooklyn bridge – one of my favourites…which I will be visiting very soon!
(image via bloglovin)
Oh man! I have to visit this bridge one day… It is the Bridge of Immortals, the world’s highest bridge located in the Yellow Mountains of eastern Asia.
(image via the mental picture)
Just looking at this makes my stomach drop….oh goodness…look at those gaps between each plank.
(image via buzzfeed)
Buddhist Monks on U Bein’s Bridge – Mandalay, Burma. The bridge is constructed entirely of teak and is reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world.
(image via redbubble)
Love locks on the Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts pedestrian bridge in Paris.
(image via remain simple)
The bridge in Central Park…I shall be crossing you soon…
(image via flickr)
This ancient floating bridge is approx. 800 years old and sits on the Gongjiang river in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China.
(image via homepinkhome)
BUT…if I have to be honest, this bridge will always hold a special place in my heart…
(image via pinterest)
I know this all sounds a little cheesy, but next time you are driving, walking or riding over a bridge… just take a second – look at the infrastructure, take in the view, note how you feel as you are transitioning across…
It is not always about going over the bridge…what about what lays beneath it? flowing rivers, still lakes, lush canopies…
(image via flickr)
Anyways enough of my ramblings….