M2 : (Age 6, at Busselton Jetty, reading from a plaque) : “We have drawn a line in the sea, but the sea will do what the sea will do”. What does that mean?
Me : Well, the line in the sea is the jetty. They’ve built the jetty, but they are aware that the sea will do what it wants. If the sea wants to knock it down, it will. If the sea wants to leave it there, it will.
(If you’re curious about why the poet would write something so fatalistic about the southern hemisphere’s longest wood-piled jetty, read about the cyclone and the fire.)
Two days later, driving home after some successful fishing from the jetty….
Me : (quoting) : “We have drawn a line in the sea, but the sea will do what the sea will do”. Tell me, what does that mean?
M2 : Um… we throw our fishing lines?
Well, I never could understand poetry either.