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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

Sunday, April 06, 2008

All Else

“Who else
but the wholly shattered
can make the broken whole?
What else
but sorrow-spattered
love can drench the soul?
When else
but dark can light be willed?
Where else
but at the brinked abyss
are ancient echoes filled?
Why else all this?
How else can it be spanned?"
He sighed and raised His hand.
"All else
is disregarded hint,
scribbled reason, mumbled rhyme.
All else
amounts to pocket lint in time....
No other else—
on that He does insist.”
His hand went to His heart to point the way.
Like stones they missed
all else
He had to say.
.© Copyright 2007, Patterns of Ink
This was originally posted at the beginning of the Lent. In "religious" seasons some people feel alone or indifferent or isolated in a shell... like this snail...so close to the truth it seems impossible to see. The lines above pose the standard journalistic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? in 100 words. In case all the "elses" made the lines more of a riddle than I intended, here they are with explanatory links:

“Who else but the wholly shattered can make the broken whole? What else but sorrow-spattered love can drench the soul? When else but dark can light be willed? Where else but at the brinked abyss are ancient echos filled? Why else all this? How else can it be spanned?” He sighed and raised His hand. "All else Is disregarded hint, Scribbled reason, mumbled rhyme. All else amounts to pocket lint in time….No other else— on that He does insist.” His hand went to His heart to point the way. Like stones they missed all else He had to say.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all....
It's Friday but Sunday's comin'!
Originally posted 4/6/07


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking...I like your use of "else" and the questions who what etc.
keep writing...

24/2/07 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read and re-read this. Wow. interesting, the links helped me. I've been reading those tonight. How did you pack all that in 100 words? I get most of it. Thank you.

25/2/07 12:41 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Anon 1 & 2,
You have probably noticed that this is still a work in progress. I've been tweaking a bit but I think I'm done.(Changed the title on Saturday to "No Other Else" then changed it back to "All Else.") It is not popular these days to talk about "THE way," but nearly all the links are Christ's own words.
Often when I write, the thoughts "work on me" as I work on them--in this case, that has been especially true.

25/2/07 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again. Anon 2. I don't do lent, but I do believe in Jesus, etc. I saw The Passion a few years ago and had this same feeling. There are some hard ideas here in the links. Like you said about "THE way" that is the hard part for me. I'm not saying you're wrong its just hard

26/2/07 10:27 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

If it's any comfort to you, I don't fully understand everything I truly believe. I don't think I'm particularly ignorant--It's like you said...some of this is hard, and much of Christ's teachings just turn our natural thinking up-side-down. (First is last, etc.) What I liked about reading the links--the ones about the parables especially--is that even the disciples who had been with Jesus were puzzled by them at the time. He had to explain the meanings in private.
My name is Thomas, and that is no mistake. To me "doubt" is not the opposite of "faith" anymore than "fear" is the opposite of "courage." Courage is not a lack of fear; it's doing what is called for in spite of our fear. Likewise, when I "don't get" something (or have a moment of doubt as Thomas did after Christ's resurrection), I consider that a healthy part of active faith and growth.

I posted the piece "Endarkened" (written 20 years ago) below this post because it reflects the natural man's inability to grasp what he senses is beyond this life. Spell-check tells me there is no such word as "endarkened," so I guess I coined it--but it's simply the opposite of "enlightened." Not everyone has a longing for the truth, but scripture says those who seek God will find Him... it also says that it's through His Son.
It was Christ who said "I am THE way… No one comes to the Father but by me." That and many similar statements in the links are not very PC, but we don't have to be comfortable with the truth, we just have to decide whether to believe it.

What I'm about to say, may sound blasphemous, but either Christ's words are true and I must follow, or he was a nice man saying randomly profound things along life's road while working through some serious identity issues--sort of like the bearded Forrest Gump in that series of scenes when he took up jogging, gathered a following, then left them behind wondering what to believe now that he was leaving them. (I do believe that was the point of that part of the movie.)
The parables are especially helpful. If you’d like to hear some helpful messages based on parables, go to this link:

Click on the messages from January 14, February 11 and February 17.
Whoa…this is a long comment. Sorry about that. If any of you have some helpful thoughts out there, feel free to post them, but I really don’t consider blogs to be a good place for “debate” or dissention so keep it positive as Anon 2 has done. Thanks. I promise not to go long like this again.

26/2/07 5:03 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Hi Tom...and Anon. 2,
While I see you don't really welcome debate on your blog, I just have to share what God has been teaching me about that whole conept. I think some 'debate' is a good thing, and I write that because I have grown and been stretched and feel I truly 'heard God speak' to me as I wrestled with keeping comments open to everyone on my Nitty.Gritty. blog. I just felt like God was opening my eyes, not only to the real questions and hurts and seeking that is going on in the lives of ALL people, but that for me to want to put restrictions on that was in a sense saying that I can decide who needs to hear from me, or that somehow I only grow from people who are of 'like-mind' with me. {Does any of that make sense?} It's sort of like I had to go through some nasty comments for me to realize that God can use them, that I can grow from them, and that maybe comments are part of my process. As a follower of Christ, I take my role seriously, and to 'shut off' those who are causing 'distraction' in my life, are the very people Christ came to seek and to save. It has been humbling to pray and seek God in direction for something on a blog, of all things, but more and more I am seeing how it is an extension and a reflection of who God is in and through me. Jesus is MY Way...and I want Him to be glorified and shared with all people whose lives are touched by me. Wow. Now this is getting long, but you asked for thoughts here. =) I appreciate your analogy and hope that we continue to make impacts and create awareness and thirst for others to want to know 'The Way'. Even through something so seemingly insignificant as a blog.

27/2/07 9:53 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Hey, Jody,
You had reason to know why I mentioned "keeping comments positive." You are very gracious as you manage discussion at Nitty Gritty.
I appreciated the honest reflection of Anon 2's comments, I can relate to them, and I was just being protective of the tone of our conversation. Thanks for setting a good pace for the kind of input I was seeking on this post.
Blogs are a great place to reflect and interact, but in my limited experience with them, they are not a very good place for heated dissent--because that requires daily attention I cannot keep up with. I may be able to control MY responses but not those who take up an offense (as you've experienced).
I understand the need for anonymous comments--it sometimes means a reader doesn't have a blog or isn't logged in--it sometimes helps them ask more honest questions, and honest dialogue is always welcome.

27/2/07 4:25 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

I constantly struggle keeping my faith in front of my life. One of the hardest concepts is "to be in the world but not of the world". It's something that tests my faith on a daily basis.

I attended church regularly and I attend Bible study on Wednesday mornings. I am involved with the women's ministry at my church and help to plan events and support other women during life's difficult times. It's hard though, no one ever said it was going to be easy so I never expected it to be.

I find that the fellowship with other Christians builds your strength because you aren't always going to be with people that believe or even respect your beliefs and that's what fellowship is for.

Life gets better inside of me the more I shed the my rough worldly exterior in exchange for the teachings of Christ.

It is not blasphemous to seek understanding through honest questioning. Work in progress too! Have a very nice Easter!

7/4/07 12:03 AM  
Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Tom,
You already know how comfortable I am about discussing religion. I liked the brevity of this piece and how you linked it; It gives us fellow bloggers time to reflect.

7/4/07 5:21 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I think it's very healthy to have doubts. I've written this somewhere, but faith is believing while not fully understanding (or doubting) just as courage is not a lack of fear but doing what's needed in spite of it. I'm glad you have circles of fellowship in "real life," this network of interaction we know as "blogging" should never take the place of that, and I think if we're honest, it would be easy to confuse which matters most.

Ah, brevitiy. I specifically wanted to see if I could say something that answered important questions in 100 words and "All Else" was came out.

What I like about "poetry" or verse is that it encourages finding the force of few words.

My typical problem is that I get thoughts rolling around in my head during the week and then I get to write mostly on weekends (or during school breaks like this week). Oh, my!.. it just hit me...I'm a "binge blogger." =)

7/4/07 10:01 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Tom do you realize what a positive ministry you have going on here? Your words are so powerful.

People know I am a Christian by the way I live, enjoy and experience life; which in turn- hopefully will lead them to Christ or prompt them to question... "what does she have that I am missing in my life?"

Then it is time to share my faith, which is just that. I can not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything the Bible says or Jesus says is 100% accurate... but my faith- through experience and trust, allows me to believe every single word.

I am so glad you had extra time this week because your posts have been a blessing to me. (Just 100 words and all of the links plus knowledge of the Bible... WOW!)

Now about that snow of yours... what happened to spring?

And how about those seniors in Florida... I am glad I am retired.


7/4/07 11:12 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Tom just so you will know, it took me 3 trys to get the letters right for that comment?????!!!!!!!!! Yikes, now I have to do it again for this comment.

7/4/07 11:13 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

It hit me after I posted my reply to you that when I said, "somewhere I've written this." The thoughts had "come from above"-- not from heaven (or embroidered on my pillow in the night) LITERALLY FROM ABOVE--I had written them in reply to ANON back in February. Then I moved this post for Easter and forgot where I'd written them before.
I wanted to explain so you wouldln't think I was crazy and now that I have you KNOW I am. =)

Three tries. Wow! that ties my record. Sometimes I stuggle with q and g. the one I'm looking at below this comment box right now is hhhalz. I should be able to get that one on first try--unless of course the h is reallly an n--that happens sometimes.
Thank you for your positive feedback.
Happy Easter.
Those letters didn't work. This time it's ylegeh. Here goes...

7/4/07 2:41 PM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

In all honesty, this is the best poem I've read about Easter. Wonderfully concise but hitting all the main points of God's good news. Keep it up, brother. Praise God. Have a blessed Easter.

8/4/07 11:02 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

LGS, That is a very high compliment. I must admit that when I take time to click the links, the unity of Scripture and the clarity of Jesus' words is very compelling. I'm humbled to attempt to describe them.

8/4/07 3:31 PM  
Blogger ...Kat said...

Thank you for linking me to this lovely poem!

and now of course for any helpful suggestions from me:

do you read your works out loud to get a sense of "how to make them sing" out.....

I suggest.... in the second line to add an adjective to soul....the line seems incomplete to the ear...perhaps weary soul

sound out for yourself how: but in the dark can the light be willed
but at the darkest can the light be filled....

but at the brink of abyss

how else to span the gulf?

if you could find a "r" word to replace hint (for the alliteration}
then you would not be tied to pocket lint

no others

no other else doesn't work for me


and why the arbitrary 100 ? the number of words in a piece are those that are needed to make it sing...

2/7/07 7:22 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Thanks again for your helpful critique of a poem, but for better or worse, this piece is kind of "set." As I mentioned when I pointed it out to you, it’s an example of a very rigid piece in both content and form, a limitation not usually applied to "poetry."

It's not in a writer or artist's nature to want things to be rigid. We like "wiggle room," but the self-imposed 100 words didn't give me much wiggle room in form just as Christ's words do not give us wiggle room in the message of salvation. He lays it out pretty rigidly. So in that sense the form worked for me.

I do typically read my lines aloud-- not so much to make them "sing" (in fact sometimes to make sure they don’t sound sing-songy like greeting card poetry). I read my writing aloud to give it my voice. This piece is an exception to that just as it was an exception to my typical approach to writing.

'pocket lint" works for me because it is worthless and almost inexplicable. In the end some will reach into a pocket show they have something of worth for to pay their dues, debts, or donations, but all they’ll have is pocket lint to show for their good intentions.

"Like stones they missed all else he had to say." I used stones as in "stone deaf," lifeless, hardened, impenetrable. Stones are a part of everyday life in Israel. Christ was called "the Cornerstone" and "the solid rock." He said it would be better for a person to have a millstone around their neck and cast into the sea than to lead a little one away from Him; and stones were used in capital punishment (as the stoning of Stephen that Paul participated in). To this day, when turmoil breaks out in the streets of that region, they begin throwing stones. In that setting and context, "stones" works for me.

Thanks again for keeping this discussion alive a few months after it was posted.

5/7/07 7:51 PM  

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