Three Pots and a Plank

I’m procrastinating a little, dithering a lot, feel there’s a mountain of work still to be done and yet, when I wander around the denuded house I can’t think what on earth it is … some of you might relate, I don’t know.

A quick post, I think, to relieve the tension.

Ailsa called for benches this week.  Daddiridreaming said all hers were peopled, and I asked “what’s a bench without someone sitting on it?”  Three pots and a plank, I thought – just an inanimate object, somewhere to park it while you wait for the train or the bus (if you’re lucky), meet friends for a picnic, sketch …

But really, I think the simple bench has a higher calling.  It’s an idea.  You see a bench and you immediately think of the idylls of life – of sitting, just to think, or to contemplate a vista or a piece of art, a pond, of taking time out, of sitting still for a while and just being …

Twenty odd years ago there was a monk who found a secluded place on a finger of land jutting into the lake made to surround the new Parliament building.  That he was a contemplative became apparent as I wandered further into the hermitage – the most prominent building was a large covered hall surrounding the bodhi tree.  My attention was drawn to two low and freshly painted benches in the shade at the foot of a couple of trees just beyond the hall.  What could they be?

Two low and freshly painted benches

As I wandered further I understood the signs the monk had erected:  “Practical Buddhism”.  They were meditation benches …  (meditation being the most effective means of reaching Nibbana/Nirvana – or at least attaining peace in one’s life.  I couldn’t help but smile at the double entendre – in this low-lying place, raised plinths were a practical way to ensure one didn’t get one’s behind wet as one sat … ).

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17 thoughts on “Three Pots and a Plank

  1. totally gorgeous collection of benches … the people of Sri Lanka know how to find a good spot for sitting, and value it enough to build these beautiful benches … the collapsed pieces were rather comical … what could have happened??

  2. love the “bathhouse bench” – saw something similar up at the old castle in Lisbon – if they only could talk. Re your restlessness around the house, YES, I can feel with you. Having been through this so many times “in my previous life” – it is never easy to leave a place for good and it does not matter how long or short one actually has been there. But you will manage in the end.

  3. What is it about your posts, Meredith? They’re instantly recognisable.
    Back to back, the welcoming and waiting ones are my kind of benches.

    I remember that hanging about, there must be something I should be doing feeling and I haven’t moved for 24 years! Lovely post 🙂

    • That feels a bit better – to know it’s not just me being obsessive about ‘getting this done’ – though it’s important this time not to take one single cubic metre more than I absolutely need, all this ‘stuff’ is beginning to be a weight around my neck. Having no home for a while will be liberating (if I can cut down on the storage fees!).

      Thanks for your support – and wonderful comments 🙂

  4. Yes, a simple bench in the right spot is evocative of reflection, of taking the time to savour the moment. Your collection is just marvelous! Love them all, but especially the forest of benches at the end 🙂 Hope these left you in a more serene frame of mind 🙂

  5. These benches are so beautiful, also because of the surroundings. They look relaxing, welcoming, … Thank you for the wonderful post, Meredith!

  6. I love the 3 pots and a plank bench… they made me think about transient life – until you plonk them down you just have 3 pots and a plank but once they have a place, assembled, they create a space for, as you say “sitting still for a while and just being…” 🙂

  7. This was wonderful. Truly. I cannot help but wonder how many benches didn’t “make the cut” and what other collections have you gathered but not yet shared? 🙂

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