I soothe my caffeine addiction at Three Cups these days, despite the many equally splendid locations to steam up. As it sits below the concrete curve of our great lady, my eyes are often drawn out the high windows of the old Finnish Meat Market building to her lines, to her green riveted trusses, to her crowning structure, which supporting her arch across the shipping channel.

From my vantage point that arch is obscured by Suomi Hall. Yet, despite some fun abstract arguments to the contrary, the natural gravity of my mind accepts that it is still there, and too, the rest of her graceful line, stretched across the Columbia’s untamed, but tethered waters, like an unrolled Christmas ribbon-cheerful even in the bleakest hour. I love it and its symbolism.

We’ve bridged 2013, though not all of us made it to the other side. We know the river hasn’t changed, that 2014 will take us over both calm and turbulent waters, moments of joy and pain. How many of our trusses will be strained by conflict? How many reinforced by seeing ourselves in a stranger’s reflection? Are our lines of tension and support as beautiful? More so.

It’s was heartening to hear, from my landlord, Cyndy Lee, about Paul Flues’ letter (“Inflammatory words,” The Daily Astorian, Jan. 3); to count him as one who crossed the bridge of 2013 – what a blessing to his friends and family, and the community.

Here on the letters page one can often see the strain in our rivets. Some, like my beloved Bob, E. Robert Nassikas, love its frictional heat. Our city, state, or nation should do this, not that. You’re wrong for thinking, or feeling, that way.

So many seem to know exactly where we should build a bridge from and to. I don’t; that is too vast a river to stretch my mind across. In my personal prejudice, yeah, I’d like to see a greener bridge built to tomorrow, in which everyone is allowed to cross – equally.

I’m reminded of something a friend said to me once, “Never drive cross the Megler stoned; it’s purgatory. It just goes on and on and on.” It’s like that sometimes; then I see an ever so precious face. Thank you all so much, and Happy New Year.

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