Tuesday, October 1, 2013
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.