Stop and Do Nothing For A While

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You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It may not be any of my business,
but let us suppose one day
that everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock sat down in them
if only for the sake of remembering
what it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs,
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive on that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is only the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.
~Billy Collins “The Chairs That No One Sits In”  from Aimless Love

 

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danpnpbench

 

bench2

 

I don’t take enough time
to do nothing.

I think about doing nothing all the time
but then do nothing about it.

Too many lonely benches
too many empty chairs
too many vistas unappreciated
that deserve the sound of my looking.

Maybe today.
Maybe, just maybe.

 

pnpbench14

 

picnictablesunset

 

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frontyardspring

 

pnpbench141

The Bench of Miracles

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bench6

They sat on a bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour.  They were not lonely anymore.  They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other.  What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other.  It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.
~Haruki Murakami

It makes sense to simply be with each other, telling our stories and holding hands.  A bench is just such place to be.

I’m not sure there exists a 100% perfect other for each one of us but sitting together on a bench in a beautiful place when nothing and no one is more important makes an almost perfect other 100% perfect.

That is the miracle of the bench.

Just come and sit a spell.  I’ll tell you my story and you tell me yours and we become perfect together.

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