Bridges over troubled waters

Bridge symbolism is evident in the film The Bridges of Madison County, where Meryl Streep’s character, a homely and dedicated wife and mother crosses over into her antithesis via a secret and passionate encounter with a visiting National Geographic photographer, played by Clint Eastwood.  That he was creating a photo-essay on bridges was not a mere trivial fact but a poignant and meaningful one.


The bridge as a symbol occurs in numerous contexts and can be thought of through a range of different meanings. The key function of a bridge is a connecting one – to join opposite sides and to bring people together. Previous President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, made ‘building bridges’ a central theme in her maiden speech and indeed it came to define her presidency.

The integrated education movement in Ireland really got off the ground with the launching of Lagan College, in the Castlereagh area of Belfast. The school’s ethos, to educate together children of all religions and none and of all abilities, is encapsulated in the centrepiece of its badge, the bridge over the river Lagan to symbolise the connecting of diverse and separated communities.

Lagan College Integrated School Badge

To bridge the final gap, listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s timeless Bridge over troubled water

Enjoy 🙂


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