My grandparents went to the same church for over 60 years, sitting and listening to sermons, being present for funerals for people they love and for people in love as they promised their lives to the human being they chose to marry. Singing the ritual songs of people with faith in something other than themselves this seat has listened to their voices. After my Nanna and Poppa passed away the church closed down and my Dad picked up this church pew in a fire sale for $100. It has been in my possession for over a decade. During this time it sat in storage for a few years then for 5 years sitting idly filling every inch of my little balcony overseeing the coming and going of Careening Cove in Sydney Harbour. During this time it had the company of many of my friends bums while we sat and drank wine and mulled over so much of our lives, cried over losses, laughed about life events and pondered our futures. This seat has heard many stories and been present, staying quiet and still, as people leant in towards the curved corners and slumped in sadness or sat up with joy. As the time has past the paint wore down, the chewing gum placed under the seat probably 30 years ago hardened…but the wood has stayed strong.
I am half way through renovating this beautiful seat and as I sand back the layers of paint I can’t help but think about all the people who have sat on this shallow, long wooden church pew. Each deep scratch in the wood is a story which holds someone’s thoughts and prayers. Oh I wish it could talk …..Imagine the secrets it holds!