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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

Friday, November 03, 2006

Resurrected Patterns of Ink

I realize Patterns of Ink is different than most blogs, which tend to be day-to-day journals. My days are interesting enough—no complaints there—but I try not to write about current “happenings” from school or home. As the title poem of this site explains, this is a place for sharing original drafts of personal stories, verse, essays, etc. Most of it reflects current writing, but I sometimes resurrect old pieces that have not been looked at in decades.

Years ago, when I wrote on paper (with actual ink), I kept files and piles of manuscripts and drafts. I’m finished with some and “through with” others. A few have been published elsewhere, but most have yet to be seen and are being read here for the first time as I dust them off for family and friends (and a readership of new acquaintances).

Several weeks ago, I found the notes for a poem I started after our first daughter Emily was born. It's been 21 years since I jotted the lines down, but with her wedding less than eight months away, these days at home are becoming pretty sentimental, so I thought I'd post it today.

I hope I don't embarrass her. She has never seen it—but I'm pleased to say she followed the advice I whispered as we napped. She has grown slowly into a beautiful girl who will soon be a fine wife.

I’ve always been protective of our girls, and bless their hearts—they've been pretty patient with their dad. I admit I was pretty old-fashioned about nail polish, high heels, pierced ears, make-up, dating, etc. (and still am for Natalie =) Those "grown up" things are all fine in their time, and the world is the wonderful context of God's Kingdom, but it's also a fallen place bent on a pace for its own purposes. Those were my thoughts one Sunday afternoon in 1985 as my daughter slept on my chest. (All three of the girls took naps that way when they were babies.)

Reading it now, I remember wanting the piece to start out lyrically (as children’s verse often does) then shift to a harsher meter with uninviting images as I warned about the world. The lines never quite "jelled" and were left unfinished all these years. So I tweaked a few phrases, but rather than adding new thoughts after all this time, I used the opening stanza as a reprise.

The draft I found was entitled “To Emily,” but since our two other precious daughters followed her (in ''87 and '95), and since I felt the same about all three in this regard, I’ve posted it below with a first-line title "Grow Slowly, Girl."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What blessed girls! To a father who will take the time to write such wonderful things. Very Sweet! Your love and devotions shines.


4/11/06 10:14 AM  

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