26 May Five and a Half Bridges
When I spoke with the writer André Alexis about how to approach the subject of Jerusalem, he suggested we begin with the idea of the bridge—the bridge as metaphor for connection (Jerusalem itself being a place where many cultures meet), the bridge as erotic symbol, as symbol of desire and longing. He wrote verses for five actual bridges: Pont-Neuf in Paris; the Stone Arch in Shaharah, Yemen; Arkadiko in Mycenaea; Si-o-se Pol in Isfahan, Iran; and the Alexandra Bridge (a favourite from our Ottawa childhoods). They form a journey toward the final one in Jerusalem: imaginary, unfinished, a bridge to connect this world to our best imaginings of this world.
Five and a Half Bridges was commissioned by Soundstreams Canada (Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director) with the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts.