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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, March 04, 2007

Nothing Like the Heart

All things break...
.....but nothing like the heart,
.....the stained glass window of the soul.
Most things mend...
.....but never quite the same
.....though all the parts make up the whole.

Somehow though...
.....through broken panes
.....the morning draws the sun
.....to the darkest corner of our hope
.....and healing is begun.
No one knows
.....how in these times
.....He helps us play our part.
All we know
.....from how we feel
..........is all things break...
...............but nothing like the heart.
© Copyright April, 1995, Patterns of Ink
On Wednesday, I posted some thoughts called "Bits and Pieces" which generated some interesting observations from readers. One of them reminded me that good can come from the "bits and pieces" of our grief or life-changing experiences, which reminded me of these lines I wrote in April,1995, upon returning home from my father's funeral. It was the deepest grief I had yet experienced. We were expecting our third child, but she was ten weeks from knowing her grandpa's touch. Stained glass is a great example of beauty in brokenness. In the 2nd stanza, if you change the spelling of panes to pains, morning to mourning, and sun to Son, you may find fuller meaning in the imagery. Psalm 34:18


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That opening line just stops me. It is so true. Heart ache is so hard to get beyond. Beautiful pictures. So peaceful.

6/3/07 4:18 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

In a way, I feel unqualified to talk about true heart break, because many people who read here (some of whom I've only recently met through comment links) have have worked through such difficult losses, but I do know how it feels to wake to the same singular sorrow for months and to have it gradually become something to embrace as part of a new reality.
As for the pictures... I did not grow up around such beauty, but two summers ago I was at the National Cathedral in D.C. We spent two hours there, and the stained-glass silence brought true solace in our days of otherwise hurried sight seeing. Sitting there I remembered this piece. If you ever go to D.C., I highly recommend that stop.
There are countless similar pictures on-line at sites like:

6/3/07 6:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Heart break... you stated it accurately. This is a beautiful poem and perfect photos to illustate the words.

6/3/07 7:43 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Nancy, I was unaware of your loss until I read it in a comment this week. It helped me better understand your outlook on the blessings of life.
Here's the stained glass site I meant to share in the previous comment above:


7/3/07 3:08 PM  
Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Some of my best writing has come from grief or time of crisis. I've often wondered about the stain glass windows in church and whether they could use just plain glass instead. Your poem help me to understand.

9/3/07 12:38 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Tom, what a beautiful post. I have had to work through grief, my husband, my parents. My mother's death was the most difficult thing I ever had to work through. Not long afterwards I was in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and they happened to be celebrating Easter mass, and I was able to light a candle for my mother there. It gave me great solace.


9/3/07 9:28 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I have some friends who work with stained glass just as a hobby. The colored glass comes from various sources. They can't "see" the qualities of a piece of glass until the light shines through it. They find certain pieces and a whole project is inspired from the desire to use it. I think they understand how God uses brokenness even more than I do.
It's helpful to know that Jesus knew human sorrow. I have another piece (somewhere--I'll have to look for it and "dust it off") called "Even Jesus Wept." It's about that short verse as he was on His way to raise Lazarus when He was touched by the sorrow of those around Him even though He knew there was joy just around the corner. I didn't know of your losses...

9/3/07 11:21 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

This is going to be a bit lengthy, I'm afraid...but since I don't have your email address, this is the best way to shsre my thoughts with you (other than calling or waiting next to your office door at school).
I meant to leave a comment a few days ago when I first read this. Now that I have wireless, it's much easier to actually do the things I want to do online! From my first thoughts til now, I have had a song in my head all week...it just seems fitting here.
As you may know, growing up as a Pastor's kid meant that I logged hundreds of hours in the church pews...Sunday mornings, nights, Wednesdays, (one year my dad pastored the church where we also went to school...I was in church nearly 7 days a week that year!), in addition to lots of camp meetings, special programs and retreats. All that to say that I learned and grew to LOVE hymns through the years. It has been the words and melodies of those hymns that have brought much comfort to me these past several years since Teagan's death and our life's trials. My 'brokeness' has allowed me to hear these words in new ways, and sing them with more meaning and understanding than ever before.
One of the songs that has been in my head this week is "He Keeps Me Singing". The second verse is one of my favorites. I'm sure you've sung it before, but it just seemed to go with some of what was in your heart and mind when you wrote "Nothing Like the Heart". Maybe not so much the 'sin and strife' when we talk of the death and heartache of a loved one. But still, it IS all tied together, as "when one man's sin entered the world, the whole world took on sin". We grieve and experience the pain of death because of sin and brokeness. It's not God's design for the world...but as you know, He is the Master at picking up pieces, and creates beauty out of pain and hardship; the shattered pieces of our lives become the basis for His next great masterpiece. I am living testament to the promise that God makes 'all things new'. You'll have to send me your email address (nitty.grittyjody@yahoo.com) so that next time I have so much to share, I can just send it to your inbox. Here are the words to that hymn that I have meditated on all week long. Love it...

"He Keeps Me Singing"
There's within my heart, a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low.
'"Fear not I am with thee; peace be still"
In all of life's ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...Sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
{(verse 2...I love this one! =) }
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife; Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumb'ring chords again.
(verse 3)
Tho sometimes He leads thru waters deep, Trials fall across the way,
Tho sometimes the path seems rough and steep, See His footprints all the way.
(verse 4...love this one too...my Hope and Promise!!)
Soon He's coming back to welcome me, Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown, I shall reign with Him on high.
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Sweetest Name I know!
Fills my every longing...Keeps me singing as I go."

10/3/07 3:47 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I remember the song and melody even though I haven't heard it for probably twenty years. It's funny how hymns never leave your head isn't it? Better yet how they come back so clearly when you need them.
"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" was on my mind when I wrote "All Else" a couple weeks ago.
I don't mind longer comments, but I'll try to remember to send my school email address. =)

10/3/07 5:07 PM  

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