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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

Thursday, June 28, 2007


In our post-postal world, the word "attachment" has come to mean a document or picture that is being sent along with an email. We click on the paper clip icon and "attach" the digitally stored file to a digitally created note and with a single digit, we press the send button and our words and attachments fly through time and space.

Whether electronic or hard-copy, this is the easy kind of attachment—pages pinched and paper-clipped at the corners with little care, entrusted to the frail grip of an elliptical twist of wire.

The harder kind of attachments are ties formed in the pinches and corners of time and strengthened by the twists and turns of life. These attachments are bonds of affection and love. Ironically, they feel strongest at the thought of loss or when we sense the frailty of our grip. We enter such attachments voluntarily, eyes wide, knowing full well that we are embracing the responsibility to care and the need to be cared for. It’s a simple arrangement, but with such care can come a kind of fear so tangible that we are encouraged to cast these cares on Him who taught us how to care in the first place.

I woke last night at 1:00AM and spent the rest of the night and morning with a stack of old towels and Kip, our ten-year-old West Highland Terrier. He is very sick. Two nights ago, he inadvertently got into a small Ziploc bag and ingested some Advil pills. He “got sick” 15 times through the night. The next morning our vet informed us that Advil can be fatally toxic to dogs—especially to small breeds like a 14-pound Westie.

The doc gave him an anti-nausea shot and instructed us not to give food or water until his stomach had been settled for 24 hours. Unfortunately, Kip, was sick four more times through the second night. This morning I took him in for observation and an I.V. to prevent dehydration. They'll keep him for at least two days.

And so it was that two mornings before my daughter’s wedding—perhaps the most celebrated of human attachments—I had a house full of females in tears about their dog. Attachments come in all sizes.
Good news. The vet called a while ago to tell us Kip is doing much better. The news brought the first of the smiles we’ll share from now through this weekend of old and new attachments
... and the happiest sort of letting go.
.My 3 girls and little Kip. October, 1997

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Blogger Jody said...

Here's sending Kip some get-well wishes. I was a dog lover growing up, and understand how real the love for a pet truly is! Not what you all needed- the added stress- at a time like this. But, hopefully Kip will be back to his own self soon, just about the time your oldest takes on a 'new self'. Funny how life has a way of tying all things together. Good and bad, happy and sad, old and new....and something blue. =)

29/6/07 10:15 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

It is Friday, the day before you big day and I was in tears until I got to the end of the post and Kip was better. WOW, as if you needed something else on your plate!

I hope you have a beautiful weekend with lots of great memories that will last a lifetime. Blessings to you all and you will be in my prayers tomorrow!

29/6/07 3:04 PM  
Blogger SusieQ said...

My heart sunk when you described how sick your little Kip was. I am much relieved to find out the little guy is greatly improved.

We do grow attached to our pets. You talked about all the females in your household being in tears due to Kip's condition. But I bet you had a lump in your throat yourself as, with such tenderness, you sat up with Kip during the bad night he had.

Tomorrow is the big day. Best wishes to your daughter on her wedding day. I hope everything goes smoothly and you don't have any more unfortunate surprises.

29/6/07 10:35 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Jody, Nancy, SQ, All,

A happy update: Friday night after the rehearsal dinner--which was beautiful at a pavilion right on Lake Michigan with over 100 close friends, family, and participants--we met the vet at the animal clinic and he released Kip to our care with two pages of instructions for getting back to a normal meal schedule.

Last night we all sat on our bed for a while. Kip was there, too. He's pretty sleepy but as always wants to lie down right in the middle of us all. During a time of prayer, one of my daughters thanked God that Kippy was alive and home. Things feel normal again... as much as they can on a wedding day.

Strangely, I find myself at home in complete silence for an hour before I have to change into my tux. My two younger daughters are off getting their hair done. Emily had her sister-in-law-to-be (a beautician) here at 6:00AM to do her hair.

Julie just laced up the back of Em's dress down in what was her bedroom. It is absolutely stunning. Then the two of them got in Julie’s parent’s RV and headed to a photo shoot at a white gazebo on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. A site just a half mile from the church.

At the gazebo, Keith, the groom, will see Em for the first time. After a few minutes alone, the photographer will do her magic there in the morning sunlight. Then we all meet at the church for pictures before the wedding.

So through no plan of my own, I am sitting in a quiet, empty house in the parlor. The finches are chirping happily, Kip is curled in a ball at my feet sleeping. The sun is shining. The cloudless sky is that shade of blue God sets aside for days like this. There are even a few butterflies... they are not outside the window.

30/6/07 7:58 AM  
Blogger Donnetta Lee said...

Hello, Tom: I hope all is well. Hubby, son, and I raised Westies for a time in Oklahoma. We absolutely love them. We love animals, period. Broke my heart to hear how sick Kip was. Good he is on the mend. My Percy, the white toy poodle, got into a sack of baking chocolate chips one Xmas. Had to be hospitalized over night-IV and meds. I thought we lost him. Might as well do away with me, too, if anything happens to him! Can't wait to hear how the wedding comes out. Best wishes.

30/6/07 8:49 AM  
Blogger Steve Sherlock said...

Good luck to Kip and of course, best wishes to the bride and family on the important day!

30/6/07 3:19 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

What absolutely exquisitely beautiful daughters you have!

I'm glad to hear Kip is feeling better. There's nothing worse than a pet who is ill, and there's nothing you can do.

You're all probably having a wonderful time at the wedding, right now. All the best to everyone.


30/6/07 6:25 PM  
Blogger Tracie said...

What a wonderful day you must've had! So glad Kip is better...and just in the nick of time. Your description of the morning sounded glorious and I know the wedding was just as perfect. Know you and your family have been in the Mallari's prayers for a couple days now. Congratulations on the new son-in-law!

30/6/07 9:44 PM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

With everything going on, I bet you were not expecting to be nursing your dog! Glad Kip is better. Happy Giving the Bride Away.

1/7/07 11:48 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

We love Westies, too, and would gladly get one again, but are so glad we don't have to cross that bridge now. =) I've always heard that chocolate was bad for dogs but I wouldn't have guessed theat 3 or 4 advil could nearly do a small dog in.

Thanks for stopping by POI. Here's to male bloggers--I think we're very out-numbered. =) The day was wonderful!

As you now know, we were having a great time. It's fun knowing people far away with only connections in this cyber neighborhood were thinking about it.

Words really fall short of how beautiful that day and those that have followed have been. I couldn't ask for a better son-in-law.

Thanks. The walking down the aisle was fine and on cue, the words "Her mother and I" flowed trippingly off the tongue. =)
Then I could watch and enjoy.

2/7/07 8:03 AM  
Blogger jmb said...

I'm sorry to hear about poor old Kip, but also glad to see he's come through like a little trooper.
Westies are just the best dogs ever, although very stubborn.
My Westie avatar is in memory of mine, Cleo who we had to put down two years ago at the age of 15. Sadly she had a growth in her abdomen, too large for anything to be done, due to her age.
So cherish little Kip.
I read the wedding post too. I'm glad everything went well. A lovely day and a lovely couple.
Thanks for coming by to let me know about Kip

3/7/07 1:11 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I just came across this today, July 5. He has been his old self (perhaps a bit more tired) ever since he came home a week ago. Westies are usually sturdy little guys... who would have guessed?

5/7/07 6:40 PM  

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