Always in search of the ideal bench, I took many photos in parks or in squares. Some of them appear in the pages of this book. At the same time, I received lots of pictures from friends who spotted their own ideal benches during their travels near and far and sent them to me.
The ideal bench gave me inspiration for many a poem, for many philosophical thoughts. The ideal bench was a haven in difficult moments, and the statues of the park often lent an ear to my confessions. The bench is no longer a mere object, a spot where the passer by would stop to rest. It is now associated to the observation of the world and to the meaning of existence. Seated on the ideal bench, I started researching things and habits which I had never seen before. And some unfamiliar, new topics would cross my mind. I decided to share them with more people. After an entire year in search of the ideal bench, I came up with answers to many questions. The ideal bench became the omphalos of the earth.
Lito Seizani is a translator and writer. She has published 5 poetry books, one theatre play for children and the collection of texts "The ideal bench". She has translated literature from English and Italian into her mother tongue, Greek and writes for online magazines. Her website is www.litoseizani.com
"The ideal bench" or thoughts for all seasons is a series of brief texts which have been written in the course of one year. Seated on a different bench everytime, the writer philosophises about life, human nature, time, the environment and other important or less important matters. A simple bench in some park in Germany becomes the omphalus of the earth. The paperback edition contains also photos. The title has been inspired by a poem by Lito Seizani.
You can order it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088B3MPT8?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860
The ideal bench
Where you can lie down and take a nap
Inside a park of beautiful trees
Which will offer shade to your face
Where a soft breeze
Will make the leaves rustle
Only for you
On it you will doze
And as you sleep, you will dream
That you found the ideal bench
With no gaps between the boards
It is completely smooth, without slits
It is clean, without any droppings
From the birds flying over your head
On the ideal bench
There is place for you, too, my love
We can sit here together and gaze
We can philosophise together
What a wonderful bench
Close to the sea, next to the dune grasses
With their particular smell
The wind caresses our hair
The sea breeze makes your nostrils open
And the water brings the seaweed to your feet
None of this is true
It’s either your memory or your imagination
Remembrance of things past, of things desired
The ideal bench is just a metaphor
A literary metaphor for happiness
(Lito Seizani, 27.8.13)
The ideal bench was just a poem in the beginning. This poem that I wrote in 2013 has given inspiration for a writing project. I was seated here when I wrote it, on this very bench which you see as larger, or first from the left, in this photo.
In 2018 I decided to dedicate my free time to a writing project called "The ideal bench". Every Monday I would post on the internet a literary text related to a real or metaphorical bench, just for a few friends, with some photos.
The friends liked this idea and started sending me their own photos of benches from all over the world.
Some people I knew even gave me hints for certain texts and after a full year, I had written around 50 short chapters, one for each week of the year.
Here they are now, my selected few, my favourites, in the form of a book which invites readers to sit comfortably on a bench, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy thoughts for all seasons.