Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rebuilding and Remembrance

Last weekend I drove across the new 35W bridge. I had my reservations about doing this. There are a lot of memories tied up in that bridge - it collapsed last August - killing 13 people, one of them a Capella employee. I found myself driving on my Saturday errand schedule and decided why not, I'll try it. It is white, fresh, new, multi-lane with lights and some funky crooked-looking spires on each side. I have been in the habit for so long taking alterate routes that I forgot how easy it is to cross it. How quick it is to get around with those exits I used to take with it. I'm glad others are using it, it clears up the downtown traffic. I couldn't help but hold my breath a bit as I remembered those who have crossed it, before. So, this bridge is finished in a mere 14 months with an influx of Federal government cash and a focus. We are all waiting for other bridges and construction projects to be completed. Let's hope they all keep moving along.

Capella University, where I work, is donating money towards the memorial in Gold Medal Park, which is near the Guthrie Theater. Here is the link. I am glad we are remembering. I have a post earlier in this blog on what I was doing when the collapse happened.

I think about what I remember from last year. Besides the bridge collapse, there were other losses - the suicide of my writing instructor and Bennington College director Liam Rector in mid-August. My cat Tex died in October. My college life sometimes seems worlds away as I am focused more deeply into my world of work, and I have changed my lifestyle a bit by moving. I am still writing poetry, but not as often. I am venturing more towards essays and stories. America is changing, with presidential candidates and situations that seem more insane everyday. Poetry grounds me. Writing builds the foundation. I remember what Liam used to say - "Always Be Closing." That means, make your own opportunities. Create your own work because no one can do it for you. The photo at left is of Liam at Bennington - one of his lectures to the new students. He would play a clip from the movie "Glenn Gary Glenn Ross" with Alec Baldwin slamming the salespeople on how to close. Liam would play it at the Bennington session with no explanation, once a year, to the new recruits and the returning students. You either got it it or you didn't. No explanation. Like life.

How will I refine my life in the oncoming months? What new bridges to cross await me?
I will let the poems come as they may - they will decide for me.

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