Issue 3: Jan. – March 2024


As William had feared, the house soon proved to be an almost destructive financial burden. Though he allocated his salary with some care, the end of the month found him always without funds, and each month he reduced the steadily dwindling reserve made by his summer teaching. The first year they owned the house he missed two payments to Edith’s father, and he received a frosty and principled letter of advice upon sound financial planning. Nevertheless he began to feel a joy in property and to know a comfort that he had not anticipated. His study was on the first floor of the living room, with a high north window; in the daytime the room was softly illumined, and the wood panelling glowed with the richness of age. He found in the cellar a quantity of boards which, beneath the ravages of dirt and mold, matched the panelling of the room. He finished these boards and constructed bookcases, so that he might be surrounded by his books; at a used furniture store he found some dilapidated chairs, a couch, and an ancient desk for which he paid a few dollars and which he spent many weeks repairing. As he worked on the room, and as it began slowly to take shape, he realized that for many years, unknown to himself, he had had an image locked somewhere within him like a shamed secret, an image that was ostensibly of a place but which was actually of himself. So it was himself that he was attempting to define as he worked on his study. As he sanded the old boards for his bookcases, and saw the surface roughnesses disappear, the gray weathering flake away to the essential wood and finally to a rich purity of grain and texture–as he repaired his furniture and arranged it in the room, it was himself that he was slowly shaping, it was himself that he was putting into a kind of order, it was himself that he was making possible.



Q of the Q is a profound piece of writing or speech that resonates with the general drift of an issue of TWR.