Cropped paintingA woman walking on the wharf paused before a boat. It looked new or well-kept and was tied to its moorings with 16 or 17 ropes on all sides. A few of the lines were very old.  Debris from the vast ocean hung like icicles across these, while one or two of the ropes appeared as though they had been only recently made.  Looking more closely, the woman realized there were at least 14 or 15 lines holding the boat fast. Still, it rose and fell with the swells of the ocean. Within the boat was a small inboard motor, a thin, gleaming steering wheel and varnished seats without cushions. Other than this there was nothing.  When the woman turned to leave, it was in a homeward direction, as though the purpose of her walk had been fulfilled.