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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:59 pm 
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Location: Beyond the paradigm.
Depputante wrote:
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If there is one place that ought to lie beyond the bounds of torment, it is the bench.
I loved the whole quote untill this last part. He's not floating anymore, he's coming down to ground level, closer. I need to reread the book, but I think, this time, the bench may mark a huge transition for him in the book.

My aching question: Why is it that when someone just sits, people assume they are doing nothing?


Yes, this is a huge transitionary place in the book. (p.54).
Before this he is mentally (inward) busy, after this, he becomes physically (outward) busy.

Ha ha ha...there's a huge twist at the end. :idea:



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:39 pm 
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Oh, you lucky people who can get to a coastline easily!! You go!!
And I'll be thinking of you, especially you, Liz, hanging out by the water...
whilst I contemplate the mountains...
:chill:



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:42 pm 
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Gilbert's Girl wrote:
Liz wrote:
Depputante wrote:
My aching question: Why is it that when someone just sits, people assume they are doing nothing?


Well, I’ll show those people. I’ve decided that this week, weather permitting, I’m going to go park myself on a bench along the cliffs by the ocean and write my Christmas cards.


Hope they don't blow away


That thought already crossed my mind. I won't go out there if it is windy. :hope: Some of our nicest coastal weather is at this time of year.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:15 pm 
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Finally, Antoine and I agree on a small something! I love sitting on benches too. I love to watch people and admire my surroundings and imagine what's going on in everybody's world.

However, I never feel like sitting and watching people separates me from the world - I feel more like I'm absorbing the world, drawing everything in and exploring it, as well as reaching out to everything around me in a silent, almost spiritual way.

I'm an actor too so I share Johnny's love of watching people, drawing on little pieces of people for future reference and inspiration. Oh and I also love sitting watching my tomatoes grow. :-)

I think public transport , a bus or train or ferry, are great places to watch the world go by. You see all kinds of people and all sorts of scenery at the same time.

But my favourite place is my own back step - looking at my garden and my children and watching the sky and trees and nearby houses.... aaahh, bliss...

Quote:
Finding Neverland also has a prominent bench. Any others?


Well, it's not a bench as such, but Edward Scissorhands spends a lot of time looking out his castle windows at the world below. As does the mayor in Chocolat (although he interferes as soon as he sees something so he's on the other end of the spectrum isn't he).

Liz, that's a great idea to sit by the coast to do your Christmas cards. Have a nice time.

Gemini - I agree that Antoine is too similar to Laurant to think he's not somewhat autobiographical.

Depputante - you're so right about sitting and watching not being "doing nothing". Too many people place value on busy-ness and "productivity" over contemplation and genuine involvement.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:25 pm 
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Red Shoes wrote:
Depputante - you're so right about sitting and watching not being "doing nothing". Too many people place value on busy-ness and "productivity" over contemplation and genuine involvement.


I was being somewhat facetious when I said I would address my Christmas cards while on the bench. I’m serious about that, but I’m also pointing out that I just can’t sit and “do nothing”. It is so hard for me to just sit down and observe or watch a movie. I feel like I have to be doing something else while I'm doing that--like folding clothes or making jewelry or lifting weights or something.

gemini wrote:
Now most of my people watching is done standing in lines at cash registers or waiting for admission somewhere.


I can definitely relate to this. I remember watching people while standing in numerous lines at amusement parks this summer or at the checkout stand. The amusement parks are more fun. That's just like sitting at a bench at the Boardwalk--just burning more calories.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:30 pm 
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Quote:
Red Shoes wrote: However, I never feel like sitting and watching people separates me from the world - I feel more like I'm absorbing the world, drawing everything in and exploring it, as well as reaching out to everything around me in a silent, almost spiritual way.


Me too, Red Shoes. For me it is a time of connection, not isolation. :chill:



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Wow! What a ride!
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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #8 ~ Sittin' on a Bench
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:01 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Another quote from the Philippe Perrier interview.

The interview took place on a bench in the middle of the cornfield.

“I have a passion for benches…the bench is really the margin of the world, it is at the same time a step and a podium.”


And from the book: “I’ve always loved benches. They’re the image of a withdrawal, the seat of a contemplative distance, a peaceful marginality at the edge of the world. They represent a privileged observation post, a disengagement off the beaten path for those who know how to pause there. I’ve spent many an hour on benches taking stock of the world. Some of them are marvelous, unexpected, outlandish, and each site is a revelation. Someone sitting on a bench is detached from reality, or no longer belongs to it. This simple seat confers upon the sitter the status of poet, and lends a certain breadth of vision. If there is one place that ought to lie beyond the bounds of torment, it is the bench.”

What does this passage mean to you? Do you have a favorite place where you like to observe the world? Why that place?


I cant help but to picture Johnny in Finding Neverland when I read that. Its a nice picture that it paints & makes me want to go to the park & sit on a bench. lol I think many things can make you feel like you are on the outside & observing. time stops and you can pause & really take in life. All you have to do is stop & listen anywhere you are really. When Im at work I have lots of things going on around me. Sometimes I stop & tune into each little thing around me one at a time. Its hilarious really. the conversations that you pick up. I usually hear someone laughing, someone cursing the copier, someone trying to be professional on the phone, someone trying to explain something. It helps put things into perspective & not get wrapped up in all the BS that life can throw at you. It keeps me sane in a insane business & most of all it makes me laugh at everyday life.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:13 pm 
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V, that is so true! It is so easy to get wrapped up in the swirl of what is going on around us on a daily basis at any given moment. When you stop and look at the parts instead of the sum it help put things in perspective!



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Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:12 am 
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These last posts from you remarkable Zoners remind me of yet another Zen-ish saying:
"Life is too important to be taken seriously."

All the rubbish of daily living ought to be tempered with some
quality time 'on the bench', watching, listening and laughing!
:disco:



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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #8 ~ Sittin' on a Bench
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:05 am 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Another quote from the Philippe Perrier interview.

The interview took place on a bench in the middle of the cornfield.

“I have a passion for benches…the bench is really the margin of the world, it is at the same time a step and a podium.”


And from the book: “I’ve always loved benches. They’re the image of a withdrawal, the seat of a contemplative distance, a peaceful marginality at the edge of the world. They represent a privileged observation post, a disengagement off the beaten path for those who know how to pause there. I’ve spent many an hour on benches taking stock of the world. Some of them are marvelous, unexpected, outlandish, and each site is a revelation. Someone sitting on a bench is detached from reality, or no longer belongs to it. This simple seat confers upon the sitter the status of poet, and lends a certain breadth of vision. If there is one place that ought to lie beyond the bounds of torment, it is the bench.”

What does this passage mean to you? Do you have a favorite place where you like to observe the world? Why that place?


What's with this "bounds of torment"? To me that makes this guy Antoine a real kook. . . introvert. Why would someone walk around zip lipped in torment?

Benches are very cool. I especially like all the ones I find all over Scotland. The Scots seem to know all the coolest places to put them to quietly gaze over the most magnificient landscapes. - overlooking great rivers, gazing out across the western islands, etc. Scotland is also where I love people watching on city benches -Edinburgh a favoritecity

At "home" my favorite place near my home is on the shores of Washoe Lake with its' sand dunes, and often the wind is up to replica waves on a beach as the ocean. I guess I'm feeling I love to be at peace around water.

Parlez:"Life is too important to be taken seriously."
I couldn't agree more!

Lady Jill


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Quote:
I’ve always loved benches. They’re the image of a withdrawal, the seat of a contemplative distance, a peaceful marginality at the edge of the world. They represent a privileged observation post, a disengagement off the beaten path for those who know how to pause there.


I love benches -- especially the ones that let me sit and look over a lake, or take in a panoramic view from the top of a mountain, or even ones that are down a path, nestled in the middle of the woods. I can spend hours sitting perfectly still, doing nothing but contemplating God's creation.

I'm not so sure I agree with Antoine's view about being detached from reality on a bench, but I do agree that I can remove myself from the daily grind while sitting there.

Two of my favorite benches are at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas. One spot is at the top edge (but not TOO close) of a mountain that overlooks a big river and the valley below, and the other is by the lodge in the park. Every evening about half an hour before sunset, people from all over the park gather and sit on benches, glider rocking chairs and big rocks to watch the sun drop behind the mountain. It's a place where you can, all together, be all alone with nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #8 ~ Sittin' on a Bench
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:24 pm 
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Lady Jill wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Another quote from the Philippe Perrier interview.

The interview took place on a bench in the middle of the cornfield.

“I have a passion for benches…the bench is really the margin of the world, it is at the same time a step and a podium.”


And from the book: “I’ve always loved benches. They’re the image of a withdrawal, the seat of a contemplative distance, a peaceful marginality at the edge of the world. They represent a privileged observation post, a disengagement off the beaten path for those who know how to pause there. I’ve spent many an hour on benches taking stock of the world. Some of them are marvelous, unexpected, outlandish, and each site is a revelation. Someone sitting on a bench is detached from reality, or no longer belongs to it. This simple seat confers upon the sitter the status of poet, and lends a certain breadth of vision. If there is one place that ought to lie beyond the bounds of torment, it is the bench.”

What does this passage mean to you? Do you have a favorite place where you like to observe the world? Why that place?


What's with this "bounds of torment"? To me that makes this guy Antoine a real kook. . . introvert. Why would someone walk around zip lipped in torment?

Lady Jill


You see, this is what I find so facinating about Antoine. He KNOWS he'll be chastized, and that's what most of us are doing too! Read P.72. And I think that's why he's so zip lipped.

I realize he's a 'kook', and would have thought so a couple years ago, BUT at the same time, if you really try to 'dig' him, he's a really 'deep' dude, if you know what I mean.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:54 pm 
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I had another thought about the bench as an escape? When I sit on a bench I people watch, which is not an escape but maybe an intrusion on those being watched. I guess if it was overdone it would be an escape from yourself but you are escaping into the lives of others.


Last edited by gemini on Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:58 pm 
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Today, I thought that, since Johnny goes to Children's Hospice, he might relate to Antoine in that way, the only thing he is able to do is sit back and watch, and participate whenever he sees a place to do so.

Interesting observation, Gemini ! I guess watching and being watched is very different. I watch alot now due to my studies, but I dont' much consider how 'being watched' feels, although, I myself do not like being watched!



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:36 pm 
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A 'deep dude' indeed, Depputante! Thanks for the reference to pg. 72. It really brings home the fact that Antoine isn't just being selfish or wounded; he's on a very difficult, very specific mission, and he's quite sacrifical (or altruistic) about it. What he says on that page makes it quite clear what he's doing at Happy Days, why he's there, and also that he knows what it has cost him in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Bless his heart, says me!
I 'dig' him.
:lilyrose:



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