Far from familiar meandering lanes, I am here in the midst of the dramatic lines of Sydney. Strong diagonals on the Bridge, soaring curves on the Opera House, tiny human forms a reminder of our presence.
A woman tied to a harness sets out on the climb. It will take three hours and 189 dollars to complete a walk to the top of the bridge and back. I savour planet earth, sit back and soak it up, from below. I didn’t understand it before, why so many of our young people live, work, settle here? But Australia is beautiful and I am beginning to get it.
Although moved by the effort and imagination, I am intimidated by the height of the Coat Hanger Bridge and go into frozen denial even on the lower pathway. The camera is a distraction which soon works it’s magic and I get lost in the moment.
From nothing they made this place and dreamed large. I study old photographs of the 1400 men who worked on the Bridge with their bare hands. 16 of them died on the job. The white hot rivets of steel made their lives a misery and sparks shredded their overalls within days. No safety harnesses, no hard hats.
But it’s the invisible photographer who I remember now. The one who carried that primitive equipment all the way up here to capture their faces, the see for the first time the view of the harbour, to marvel at the engineering and craftsmanship.
I think of the eyes behind that lens and in this moment I share the passion of so many who walked the path before me.