The Narrow Bridge

Leor Grebler
3 min readNov 5, 2023
Generated by author using Midjourney

I haven’t felt much like writing lately.

I uploaded my last post while on an Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto, coincidentally, on October 7. Thanks to inflight WiFi, the breadth of the horror that was unfolding was slowly being made apparent and when I landed 11 hours later and for many weeks since, I felt and still feel in a daze. It felt like when I watched the Twin Towers collapse and the weeks that followed.

It caused a deep internal search to understand the why, a reason beyond the throngs of voices that are shouting. It made me think more about the poem from Rabbi Nachman of Breslev: “The whole universe is a narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all”.

It also made me think about a post I wrote awhile back called Thin Layers:

  • We are all alive in a thin layer of a mix of gases in a bubble around a thin layer of crust on top a liquid molten marble.
  • Our ability to read this, imagine, laugh, understand our very existence — our consciousness — is the result of a thin layer of pre-frontal cortex on top of a bunch of meat that keeps our organs alive.
  • Our ability to live is the result of a chemical reaction of ATP happening on a tiny membrane of cellular material.

The list of thin layers goes on and on and while these layers take can eons to create, they can be gone in a moment. The love given to grow a human, the hope in a better future, the care and attention, changing of diapers, potty training, the driving to music lessons and medical appointments, the choosing of clothes, cooking of meals, talking to teachers about development — all to sustain and nourish a thin layer that is life. It can be be taken away for no good reason in an instant.

Another thin layer is the now.

Now is that bridge from past to present in which we constantly stand. Most of our anxiety and despair are about things beyond this bridge, or behind it. We don’t have control over them now. Things ahead or behind can be scary, but we don’t need to fear them. It clouds our judgement, it foments hate, it creates panic or despair.

So how can I cope? I try to direct that thin layer of consciousness on the good in the world. Hug my kids a little tighter, be a little more patient, try to see that there was and that there can be good in this world. I try to remember that in this bridge of now we all are in, we must not fear.

Let’s continue to hope and build for better days.

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Leor Grebler

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler