July 22, 2010

The World Needs More Benches




Returning visitors to NBA will notice the banner change at the top of this blog. It was time for a change, and benches have been a recurring theme for me lately. Therefore I have been thinking about and photographing benches.

I have been noticing benches more often now that I have the time to use them. The other day, while sitting on a new one, I decided that benches would be a great symbol for the simple living movement. Like the Slow Food movement, which is really about the joy of slow living, the bench represents the value inherent in going slow.

Even slow is too fast when it comes to benches. A bench means it is time to stop. Full stop. It is about not being stingy with your time, and allowing yourself the gift of simply being for a few moments. Perhaps to read a book, or bird watch, sit under the shade of a welcoming tree on a hot day, visit with friends and neighbours. Some of my finest moments have been on benches.

The freedom to do nothing is a freedom that is denied to us on the industrial clock. There should be benches where ever there are people, to remind all, invite all, to stop and do nothing. Take a load off, sit down, and catch your breath.

For your mental health visit a bench as often as possible.
Go slow. Stop. Contemplate. Enjoy.

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