Tuesday, October 1, 2013

woz ere



After Space Odyssey.  But instead of a sheer monolith there are two identical concrete posts sticking out of the ground.  Each has a vertical protuberance which might (if looked at in the wrong way) represent fertility or spirit of regeneration.  There are no apes breaking skulls and throwing bones into the air - just me having a walk and remembering how I used to sit under the oak tree here when these posts were part of a bench.  It was a good enough bench but one part of the seat fell away and was not replaced so sitting on it was not as comfortable - though this was not a reason, as far as I could see, to remove the rest of the wood, especially if you are not going to replace it with something.  The empty posts have been there for some time now so clearly there are no plans for a new bench.  But no plans to remove the posts either and they look kind of - emasculated.  Either that or disembodied, like a couple of ghosts who have lost their way to the hereafter and hang around to spook us.  Conjoined twins who have lost their conjoinedness.  This is not some inner city blasted heath, it's the Ashdown Forest (this bit on the edge of a golf course) with proper conservators and the kind of people who would report this type of thing.  Perhaps someone thought that they would do nicely as an art installation.

It isn't as though I have great memories of sitting on the bench, beautiful as the surroundings are.  I wouldn't have wanted a bronze plaque on it saying "in memory of Signs who had so many happy moments here".  I was usually trying to find some strategy for dealing with M.E. and all its attendant symptoms plus crushing fatigue.  It isn't far from Signs Cottage so going there would often count as my walk and activity-of-the-day.  I think it was probably here that I first began talking to myself.  It came from looking up and saying things to the oak tree who was not often in the conversational vein, so I made up the responses, which was not unrewarding.  But it was not fun either, even if it might have helped with the poetry.  I do not associate this ex-bench place with fun.  I spilled a few things that were never brought to utterance anywhere else.  The twin ghosts are not saying anything.  But they (and the oak tree) are guilty of harbouring my secrets.


7 comments:

cakelady said...

Where else but to the trees are we going to reveal the stuff we don't want to tell anyone else. Trees are like blotting paper, you tell them things and they don't have a solution,they just absorb and remain impartial, and afterwards we feel the better for it. If trees could speak and judge then I might have to find another forest. Beautiful post, beautiful forest.

belinda whitworth said...

I always find myself sitting under oak trees. They have a great presence.

Anna MR said...

This is the third time I'm attempting to comment on this post, Signs – there is a serious and hideous possibility that my account was hijacked today, as I couldn't sign in with my password when I went to send my earlier comments (didn't believe first time, tried again – all my words lost. A small step for mankind, a great annoyance to me, to be sure). I am too internetty-crime-illiterate to understand whether this has anything to do with the fact that I got a scam email, ostensibly from Ms North, today. I opened it and binned it when I realised what it was – without opening any links or anything – but the coincidence seems a bit weird to me. If you are in touch with Ms North, perhaps you might point out that hers is deffo used by someone else? (And if you happen to get a message from me, saying I'm stuck in Ulan Bator with no dosh, just please tell them to fuck off, that they're not me.)

Anyway. My previous comments waxed lyrical on the days of yore, when we hatched plans for a Tracy-Eminesque art installation somewhere, if I remember rightly, around your area. I suggested that the powers that be had finally, in their careful combing-through of All Blogpost Comments Ever Written, seen the wisdom of that idea (and hence, obviously, of us), and have wrecked your poor innocent bench to provide us with a frame for our canvas. I was suggesting we hire some spiders to spin webs between the two posts, onto which we spray some clear glue mixture (to act as dewdrops – where art imitates nature, see) and onto which we can, apparently randomly but obviously with artistic calculation, attach various natural items, such as peculiarly shaped twigs, the bare skeletons of the leaves which fell over a year ago (you know the ones where the flesh of the leaf has all but gone, leaving the lace-like skeleton of veins only), dragonflies wings, and so on. After this installation has been up for a set amount of time (photographic prints are naturally sold, also documenting the various stages of its downfall), we can continue to something completely different. I suggested we proceed by stringing unnaturally blue and green washing line between the frame and hang a plethora of items – any kind of items, Signs – as long as they are in shades of pink.

And then it's your turn to come up with a third installation plan.

Your post was beautiful in expressing the wistfulness life brings … as always. I'm just being blabby.

x

Reading the Signs said...

Cakelady there are those around these parts who would categorically state that trees can speak - but they do it differently. The way you describe their act of listening makes them sound like (the best kind of) psychoanalytic therapists - the kind I never managed to find, I mean. x

Belinda, they have always been my tree of choice too.

Anna I had the same email in respect of Ms North and have been in touch with her! I do not like this coincidence (your password blip) at all. Annoyingly, one can't tell the perpetrators to fuck off because one is not supposed to reply. What is the world coming to?

Yes, that other installation: you were the one with the most inspired vision for it, as I remember, and here you are again with vision. You see, I think the powers that be are trying to get to you through me - because they know full well that I could never come up with anything like this. It is brilliant - especially the washing line. I don't know where I'm going to get the pink things though ...

Mwah!

Montag said...

I know this sounds childish, but when I saw the picture, the notion flashed that this was an instance of interstellar joint ventures: the bench supports made by the Federation, and the planks for the bench made by the Romulans.... and hence they are invisible due to a "cloaking device".

It is a possible hypothesis...

Reading the Signs said...

Montag this sounds like Sci-Fi of a very superior kind. We are talking Star Trek, yes? I was hoping that the Tardis would make an appearance but the Starship Enterprise would be welcome too. Something should be done, obviously.

Montag said...

I have come to expect shock when I see your illustrations.

Never forget my gasp of surprise when I saw Sir Flinders Petrie in a Neolithic urn, and my mind flashed to Jeremy Bentham.