Having snapped out of it, and waking up with ideas half-formed I've had a great time working out the practicality of the first bridge book. I got a bit stuck on identifying a first bridge, until I realised that it didn't have to be a real bridge, it could be a conceptual bridge or a fantasy bridge, or in fact any damned bridge I like!
Then I stumbled upon a poem by Walt Whitman, which tied a few things together for me. I wrote a poem on the plane coming over here in 2006, about all sorts of stuff including loneliness and spiders and hoping you've done the right thing, and the Whitman poem coincided beautifully with what I was saying and with the theme of bridges, and gave me a sort of entry-point into the first book.
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul