Of Time and Place
in the dust-filled light of the shed, the smell of the wood, the feel of its roughness, the sense of its resistance to the saw and planer offer a deep air of sensuality. “The profoundest of all sensualities,” D.H. Lawrence says in this little poem, “is the sense of truth, and the next deepest sensual experience is the sense of justice.” In the shed, the profoundest of all sensualities is the sensual satisfaction of a true line, and the sense of justice found in the beauty of a builder’s joint. Time continues to take its toll on Jines Arley. While “still water bending moment” is the measurement of the strength of a ship and is a one-time static measurement, entropy, on the other hand, is the
special, “he made his peace with the tree and took it down.” That was a long time ago and now Lily has found the cedar. With the tarp off, Jines “imagined he could smell the wood’s sweetness from here on the couch, the smell of the forest and things waiting to be born.” One might think that father and daughter building a skiff together is the place where reconciliation must surely take place. But again, there is no sentiment here, and there is no reconciliation. What one senses is a deep and enduring respect for the wood and the life it has given. And, as the two shape and lap the cedar into a work of art
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