May 30, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:53 pm by Iain

So there’s this bench at my favorite park in Cedar Falls. It’s a nice bench,  made of that cheap, blue, cross-hatched plastic you see on most other benches. It sits on a prominence on the park’s eponymous Big Woods Lake. The view’s great.

Picture forthcoming!

My favorite thing about this bench is the fact that it isn’t just anyone’s bench, it’s Marv Diemer’s bench. Yet it’s not one of those morbid benches created specifically so that someone can sit upon the loving memory of Phyllis G. Winthorpe or Hamilton (Hammy) J. Flint. Rather, Marv Diemer was the thoughtful  (and decidedly living) guy that decided to christen this bench with both name and poem. It reads:

Sit and rest for a moment. / Look at the sky, the grass, / the shape of the tree limbs, / the water in the lake / Feel the solid earth beneath / your feet.

For those that are not poetry inclined, let me summarize (those who are, skip to the next paragraph). So basically, Marv’s bench is a little bit pushy. It invites you to sit down upon it, only to further dictate to you how to correctly experience the surrounding sky, vegetation, water, and earth. When was the last time some bench invited you to sample its comfy bauxite exterior? When was the last time a bench highlighted the rigidly policed avenues through which our society feels are the proper ways to “experience nature?” Probably never. And if that’s the case, you should probably go sit on Marv Diemer’s bench right now.

The poem is great and all, but y’know, I can never help but feel as if Marv left something out. As if those banal park bench bureaucrats forced Marv to remove a sentence or two before granting him his bench. Callously holding his bench ransom, until Marv had to acquiesce and sully his otherwise pristine creative genius. Something like:

And yeah maybe ignore that highway too, / behind you. / It kind of ruins the moment.

May 28, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:29 pm by Iain

So I’m trying this new thing where I stop affecting apathy in my writing. Partly for my own growth as a writer, but mainly so that I force myself to confront my emotions with a candor that doesn’t hide behind humor or ambivalence to mask (or silence) its ramifications. It’s difficult. Not to mention a little bit ironic. I mean wow, it took me what, roughly five months for me to completely reject “I just don’t think it’s possible for irony to ever become a bad thing” just two posts down? Sure, I understood that something like this was going to happen when I said something so definitively, but five months? My life is a roller coaster. (Sorry Ali)

Anyway. I have officially graduated from the four year institution of my choice. Unfortunately, my life is just as meaningless as it was before I started, but things are alright, because things have changed. And as apprehensive as I feel towards those four years, I think I’m happy with the things that have changed. I know, I know, you’re probably a little worried that that was a signal phrase that is going to lead into one of those glowing recaps of my college experience posts. Let me be the first to tell you that this is exactly not what I’m about to do. What I am going to do is to tell you how much this post is not a glowing recap of my college experience, while all the while writing about my glowing college experience. Ah Northern Iowa, you’ve taught me so much.

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