.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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, October 31, 2007

A Melancholy Splendor

A melancholy splendor comes
when autumn chills,
and green begins to bleed,
and red and gold
and russet runs the hills...
when all that grows
is gathered in the fields
and orchard rows
to be busheled up,
pressed and poured out,
or left alone to seep
in the fallen tea of earth...
when gardens go to seed,
and bursting milkweed
begs for second birth
by letting go the withered pod
to haunt
the meadows
and the markers
on the old church lawn
where, but for lonely shadows,
all summer shade is gone
in the melancholy splendor
of the fall.

A few hours ago, our streets heard the last of trick-or-treaters, and October came to an end one porch light at a time. This was the mildest, warmest autumn I recall in my lifetime with average temps in the 70's, which delayed the color fest by a few weeks and muted the typical brilliance of west Michigan landscape. Not until last weekend did leaves began to fall, and the first trees to turn are now bare. As always, the towering oaks around my house will be the last to let go, so we'll still be raking around Thanksgiving.
I know from reading around my favorite blogs that fall is on many people's minds, and I also notice that many of the bloggers I know share a touch of melancholy this time of year. I seem to revel in fall's beauty but wrestle with the finality of all that began in spring.
I've always struggled a little with this. I love the peak of seasons: the deep and drifting snow, the lush green of spring, the splash of waves in the summer, and the colors and crisp cold of fall... but I must deliberately keep my spirits up in the "empty in between" of the seasons, those gray, non-descript days.
Once all the leaves have fallen each year, I eagerly await the snow to come and cover the "blah" of November.
In the next chapter of our story, we'll see that my mother has this same feeling about the fall (which is probably where I get it). She and Dad will be very happy about the news they get from Dr. Licker as summer ends, but more than the season changes as others learn that Mom and Dad will have a baby in April.
Note: Between the lines of " A Melancholy Splendor" are hints of the relationships between life and death, harvest and labor, the garden and weeds (nurture vs. nature), beauty and decay, and hope and despair in the fall (by playing on the word as both a season and a theological term). Since childhood, I've been fascinated by Milkweed. Its life cycle is very dramatic from beginning to end when it seems to "give up its ghosts" to the wind. Its scientific name comes from Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Milkweed also plays a "life and death" role in the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Cheri said...

I was just in Traverse City and the views were breathtaking. If the jerk I went with ever uploads the pictures he got some amazing ones with his professional quality cameras.

Anyways you lived in Roseville in the 60s? I grew up at Frazho and Gratiot (now I live at Common and Utica) and there isn't a Wal-Mart but a dying K-Mart there instead. If old man Kresge were still around...

1/11/07 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

Beautiful sentiment. Warm here in Boston, too. Unseasonably.

1/11/07 1:40 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

The variety of readers that drop by here never ceases to amaze me. I see you have come over from a Detroit metro site.
My family and I enjoy Traverse City area, too.

The high school around the corner from Utica and Common used to be called Brablec. My brother and I graduated from there way before you were born. If you return to read more here, you’ll notice our paths and worldview are very different.

I try not to “preach” at POI, but I do hope you may find some light for your path if ever you feel “left alone to seep in the fallen tea of earth.”
Your August 28, 2007 post would suggest that you have already learned religion does not fill the empty vacuum of the human heart.
Those thoughts suggests that you are searching... if so I sense you are beginning your search having already learned that filling emptiness with emptiness renders more emptiness.
Continuing to do the same things will not bring about different results in life. You may find the link at “hope and despair” in this post's footnote of interest.
We were created for relationship, horizontal (i.e. between us and other humans) and vertical (i.e. between us and God.)
You’ve probably heard this song, We were meant to live for so much more by Switchfoot. The lyrics are a good reminder for the journey of life.

1/11/07 3:54 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Thank you. Today was in the 50s but still a beautiful autumn day--not bad for November first!
By the way, congratulations to you and your RED SOX (a little late).

1/11/07 3:57 PM  
Blogger HeiressChild said...

hi tom,

i got a lot out of what you just wrote to cheri. very inspiring and so true. we've had warm temps here in maryland, and our leaves and trees are so beautiful and colorful. i'm like you in that i get that "empty in-between feeling" also, though mine comes solely in the winter. i think that's because it seems like winter is forever with all of the cold and snow, but just when i think i can't take any more, spring rears itself with a peek of flowers and warmth.

2/11/07 10:35 AM  
Blogger HeiressChild said...

i like this song by switchfoot. i think i'll add it to my playlist on my blog when i put the music player back on.

2/11/07 10:43 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Glad you're back from your time away. Thanks for the affirmation about those thoughts. It's cool that Cheri is from my old stomping grounds. It's a small world. I don't always share thoughts like that with a stranger. (Hope it was of help, Cheri.)
I must confess that Switchfoot is not my first choice in music style, but that chorus is a very compelling refrain for this generation.

2/11/07 3:29 PM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I always enjoy your poems. Another good one.

3/11/07 1:14 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

As always I have missed so much... and I will try to catch up at some point.

Meloncoly took on a whole new meaning to me this week, and I appreciate your prayers along with this post and gorgeous photos.

Please keep me in your prayers as I try to face life without Emily.

3/11/07 2:28 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Always encouraged by your comments. I have some news to share with you about an opportunity. I'll tell you about it at your blog.

My wife and I have been thinking about this awful tragedy that you have been facing this week.

Folks, you know Nancy at Daily Blessings. One of the victims of that beach house fire last Monday was
her goddaughter.

3/11/07 7:04 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm visiting from Nancy's...Your writing is so beautiful. And you described my feelings about late November so well...though right now we're seeing the last of the beautiful colors, both on the trees and on the ground.
I'm sure I'll be back!
God bless!

3/11/07 7:18 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Greetings from Michigan to Oregon. Congratulations to your Ducks on another great win today. Since they beat Michigan in the 2nd game, I've been hoping they keep climbing in the BCS rankings so we don't have to face them again. =)
Thanks for stopping by.
Sad about Nancy's goddaughter.

3/11/07 11:16 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Do you know what really "hits home" for me, is when we turn the clocks back. It's later this year, and our fall is almost finished, so all of a sudden it feels very dark and dreary. We don't get snow to brighten things up just lots (and lots) of rain. Gosh, I think I'll go and put my fireplace on, to cheer things up.

4/11/07 10:49 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I should have known that Canada and U.S. both do the daylight savings time shift together, but I hadn't thought of it. Our fire has been on low all day--just enough for atmosphere. Julie and I disagree that it actually warms the room. I suspect any heat goes right up the chimney, but we do like the fireplace once there's a chill in the air.

4/11/07 11:10 PM  
Blogger HeiressChild said...

hi tom,

i'm watching oprah today because she's doing the most popular youtube videos. the guy who sang opera was on. not only did he win the competition, but simon cowell signed him to a recording contract, and he's already sold a million records.

thanks for telling us about nancy and emily. i didn't know. i'll leave comments at her blog.

6/11/07 5:00 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Thanks for the update about Paul Potts. I'm so glad to hear that it turned out as we all expected it would.

I saw this comment after Tuesday's "close call" post about my daughter's apartment complex. What Nancy and her god child's family are going through is so hard to imagine. I'm sure she will appreciate our continued prayer and encouragement.

6/11/07 7:41 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I've read this two years in a row...it's my autumn anthem now. Thank you for expressing so incredibly what I feel. Keep on writing, brother.

7/10/09 9:26 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Funny you should stop by this post again. I thought of it this week. Those feelings have begun to simmer in my spirit again. At this very moment, Julie and I are camping in Holland...in the beautiful colors.

10/10/09 9:50 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Here again...as I am each Fall. This year I had to share your poem on Facebook for my many other Fall experiencing friends. Hope all is well in Michigan!

20/10/15 9:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Offshore Jones Act
Offshore Jones Act Counter