Monday, July 13, 2009

The Gods of Wood

The wood yard just by Mortlake Station presented an interesting image. I looked at it and somehow the planks appeared like starkly carved Polynesian statues. staring down at pedestrians. In many countries, wood stands as an element along with earth, water, fire and air. In India and China it is primordial matter. Wood is "learning" - both culturally and linguistically - in the Celtic traditions. It can also stand for battle, as in the curious Welsh poem, The Battle of the Trees. In Irish tradition, trees could be changed into warriors ready for battle. The ancient Greeks and Romans specified particular deities to woods (rather than wood itself). Each God had a special wood and this place would inspired both reverence and dread. I don't think this wood yard inspires dread for the good residents of Mortlake and nearby Sheen - but you never know. No doubt this wood will be purchased and live out some years as floorboards, cupboards or bookcases.