When deciding which bridge to cross, the Golden Gate Bridge or the Forest Suspension Bridge, the 5 things I considered in order that they occurred to me were: Bridge Length, View/Surroundings, Ability to Hold On, Activity on the Bridge, Movement.
And here’s my phobic thought process!
1. Bridge Length
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step says the Tao so while walking across either bridge would probably feel like a thousand mile walk, the Forest bridge looks to be a shorter journey to the safety of the other side. Length isn’t everything; both lengths look daunting and I know that with each step across either bridge I’d become increasingly shaky and I’d feel a bit tipsy and like I was encapsulated in a giant soap bubble. I imagine I could freeze part way across.
If I were on the Golden Gate Bridge I’d see sky and water forever and I’d find that big view overwhelming. Sitting on the San Francisco wharf sipping coffee, I’ve found the view out to the Bridge and across the bay to Sausalito and Tiburon, tranquil and calming. On the bridge I’d feel like a dangling earring or that I could become like one.
The Forest Bridge has closer and clearer boundaries to me so I’d have a better perspective of where I am in the world. The trees seem soft, cushiony, friendlier. What I can’t see from the photograph is what lurks below this bridge.
3. Ability to Hold On
On the Forest Bridge I might feel more secure holding onto both railings simultaneously but being “one” with the bridge may be too simpatico for me. If it goes down, I’m going with it if I’m holding on. As if that makes any sense in that I’d survive if I wasn’t holding on.
The Golden Gate Bridge doesn’t appear to having railings as much as it has fences and from the photos I’ve seen it appears I’d be more protected on both sides. The sidewalks appear wide and easily accommodate walkers and bikers
4. Activity on the Bridge
On the Golden Gate Bridge, there’s lots of traffic, bikers and other walkers and I wonder if all the noise and distraction would be helpful in giving me other things to focus on besides myself, my fear and the bridge.
On the Forest Bridge, so much quietness would mean I could only focus on my heart beating in my ears or feeling my limbs tremble. While normally I believe being mindful is positive and healthy, maybe for me when walking across one of these bridges, the more distractions the better. I think I would feel lonely on the Forest Bridge.
Having attempted to walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, somewhat similar to the Forest Bridge, and having experienced the bounciness, that’s a real drawback. It was not a good feeling thinking I could tip over the edge.
The Gold Gate Bridge would have other movement, maybe wind across the bay, wind from the cars, the little tremors in the road as the cars go over the road joints.
Which bridge did readers select?
70% of you who took the poll last week said the suspension bridge!
In thinking about which bridge I’d choose, I was surprised that height never came up for me since that’s something that usually bothers me when I’m on a bridge. I have to think it has something to do with the photos I selected in that they don’t show that perspective. (For next month’s Mind Game, I’ll have to pick two bridges that do!)
I selected (because my game is forcing me) the Forest Suspension Bridge.
Thankfully, it’s just a mind game!