Thursday, December 30, 2010

This river I step in is not the river I stand in

The drugged up bridge namers came up with one long bridge name: "This river I step in is not the river I stand in". The sign maker, grinning, asked if they wanted another paragraph, but they were resting after coming up with that doozy. And so the Don River bridge crossing at Queen Street East was named in 1996, long after the original bridge was replaced in 1911. Just for fun they added a clock to the mix, "shall we make the clock last for hundreds of years so that future generations can weep at the beauty of the words and know what time their tears fell to the ground?" and they answered "no, we wont have enough money left over after we get all the letters made." And so the clock worked for a day or two, then crapped out, probably because three levels of government were involved. Although, as the old saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I believe the bridge writing (described as a river of text) is based on a saying from a Greek philosopher Heracleitus who said "You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you" - from Plato in Cratylus. So ... nothing stays the same and things change even as you experience them in the moment. So the river you stepped in (i.e. the water) has already changed and is different than the one you stand in. And don't stand in the middle of the bridge because the traffic and streetcars will make sure you won't be in the same shape you were before you stepped in the middle of the bridge - ha, that should have been put on the bridge. Thanks to the artist Eldon Garnet.

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1 comment:

Ellen said...

It is the first part of a three piece installation art piece that runs along the viaduct called "Time: And a clock" by Eldon Garnet. The second part is comprised of inscriptions on all four corners at Broadview, while the third is metal flags on the standards at the entrance to Jimmy Simpson park at Mortimer .

We researched it last year and spent a lovely family day touring the area to view it all.

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