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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Wedding Book

[2nd in a series of 4 posts.]

And then it was
I happened on the wedding book
between the curtain and the stair.
Its pebbled ivory cover
took me back the fifteen years
when last it lay upon lap,
the time my girls sat spellbound at my side
in our Iowa living room.
They'd never seen the book I'd taken home
(with a plan but not permission)
to secretly capture each photo and face
with my camera’s eye—a documemory
I called it, a montage put to music
for Mom and Dad’s 40th Anniversary.
But before I tackled that task,
we held the book and took our time
the way Mom did when we were kids
with stories at each turn.

It's a splendid volume
of full-page black-and-whites
with details crystallized in time:
You can almost feel the softening varnish
on the blackened pew rails;
and smell the winter on the woolen coats;
and hear the hatted women in the crowd
whispering, “Don’t look at the camera,”
while children gaze
bewildered in the lens.
It’s as if the photographer knew
these weren’t just wedding pictures—
especially in the group tableaus—
it’s as if he knew
this was the cast party
of the unfolding play
that was our life before we lived.




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Each shot is in the old historic church
that shares its name
with the fort that once stood there
and the old lighthouse still standing
and the avenue that in its day
tied Port Huron to Detroit
and all points in between…
and thus became the byway of our lives.
.
Part III: "The Wedding Guests"
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Note: The setting was Fort Gratiot Methodist Church. Many generations on both Mom and Dad's side lived in Port Huron. My older siblings and I were born there, but in '61,Dad was promoted at Bell, which called for a move to the north-east suburbs of Detroit. After that, Port Huron became a retreat of sorts. Gratiot Avenue was the route we took to PH before I-94 came along in the 60's. Past and present were interwoven at Port Huron by stories we heard the grown-ups tell at Grandma's house and picnics at parks called Lighthouse and Pine Grove and Palmer, and during the endless days we swam in the shadow of the Blue Water Bridge with Dad. TK

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