Wednesday, January 16, 2008

you can't get there from here

you can't get there from here
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
So, here I stand on this railroad bridge spanning the Broad River, fighting intensely to overcome my desire to ignore the signs, step through the hole in the chain-link, and follow these tracks. My romantic mind contemplates the rail-less ties, and dreams that out of wisdom, someone realized we were moving too fast, going where we ought not to go, driving on at breakneck speed with a slightly skewed trajectory, and decided to take up the rails and put a halt to the nonsense.
But the truth is, I don’t know which way is forward. This vintage piece of Americana represents a point in history, and I’m not entirely sure on which side I stand. Were these rails removed to slow my progress toward the other side? Or am I on the other side, the rails removed to keep others from spiraling headlong toward where I stand? Having arrived at the riverbank, why am I drawn only across the water, and not backward through the woods. Why did I just use the word backward for the direction that does not lead across the river?
What if progress meant turning around and moving to the point where my trajectory veered. Perhaps it is only because our definition of progress requires that any correction or change of direction be felt as an interruption, real progress can’t take place. But I’m not sure we can get where we’re going if we continue this way.