Of Redemption and Art

Redemption: (noun)

  1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
  2. deliverance; rescue.
  3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
  4. atonement for guilt.
  5. repurchase, as of something sold.
  6. paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note.

www.dictionary.reference.com

 

I’m a disciple or Raymond Chandler who said in his essays that there is a quality of redemption in anything that can be called art.
— Michael Connelly, author of The Lincoln Lawyer

 

Wood.  Glue.  Steel.

It had stood for over 200 years.  A meeting place at a time when meeting could mean death.  A shelter.  A sentinel.  The last of its kind.  It had endured storms and snow, its trunk split by lightning, its roots poisoned.  Well intentioned humans tried to shore it up, replacing wood with concrete, bark with wire.  Still.  It stood.  Still.  Its limbs spread wide.  Still.  It burst into leaf each spring.

Until the hurricane came.  Until the autumn when the concrete could no longer be trusted to hold it upright.  Until the autumn when the fate of all growing things came to it and it could grow no more.  With solemnity and reluctance, the last Liberty Tree was cut down.

Dead.

Ruined.

Discarded.

Except for the vision of a man named Bob Taylor.  The symbol could not die.  Something beautiful could yet come from the death, the decay, the well-intentioned but futile efforts at preservation that only hastened the degradation.

He sought the remnants.  He was almost too late.  The tulip poplar, it seemed, was destined to be recycled.  Except.  A miracle.  Enough wood to make 400 guitars.  He looked at the grain, the odd stains left by concrete and steel and the battle to keep the symbol alive.

He sliced the wood thin.  Formed it into curves, a slender waist.  Something to hold.  Something to cherish.  Something that would give its voice to the future.  Something that would ring with song, a new freedom.

Something new.

And lovely.

And strong.

Wood.  Glue.  Steel.

A legacy.

A promise.

A future.

A hope.

Liberty Tree Guitar

Images of the Taylor Liberty Tree Guitar

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