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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 26, 2009

Still There

There are two words that reoccur
in things I think about and share.
Two words, ten letters: "Still there."
They bring continuity to my existence
as if life sometimes needs proof
that it's been lived
for fear it may fade
like the kind of dream
from which you wake
but want again,
and dozing off
you search in vain
for the rabbit hole
that took you where you were.

Knowing some things are still there
makes life feel less like I'm looking
desperately down at dirt
or up from a hole in earth
and seeing only sky.

And so it is
I find myself authenticating life
with these two words:
"still there."
At a story's end,
I may say something like:
It's still there, carved in the tree;
still there--at the bend in the creek;
still there in the corner of the barn;
still there in the telephone nook;
still there in the cellar or attic;
still there, the winding drive that takes me home
and to that vague and fleeting feeling
that life as we knew it is still there.

"Still there" is where my saturated past
is crystallized 'round things
that can be walked to, touched, and smelled
(like a camping tent stored
thirty years in a wooden box).
But how does it feel, I wonder,
when at last the "still theres" are gone,
handed down the family tree
or otherwise carted off
or, worse yet, razed or blown over in the wind,
What happens when all is still... there?

I'll know soon enough it seems,
but in the meantime, I suppose
that that's what dreams
and stories are for.


Blogger the walking man said...

All of the "still there" remain until I am no longer here. Then they fade with each succeeding generation...eventually even the old tent is no longer a tent but rather a moth eaten canvas in a long forgotten box that n one remembers the echos of what was once contained within its walls.

28/4/09 5:10 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

There is part of us that longs to be eternal. It is wired in us from the creator, and in some sense in which I have no experience, I believe we will someday understand that longing. But in the meantime, I find myself growing more and more fond of those memories that may lose their "still there" markers over time. I know this doesn't make sense, but it's something I've been working through in these chapters.

28/4/09 8:37 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

Tom...The comment actually was a projection of Shinto belief in that the ancestors live on and stay in this coil until the memory of them is forgotten in the living.

I believe in the eternal and I also believe that the Christ kicked that door open again for mankind.

Faith, the claiming ownership of things evidenced but not seen, is what gives me the right to see and accept that the spirit within is my door and pathway to the eternal presence of God now and in the future after I am no longer bound and constrained by this flesh.

Be Well

29/4/09 4:42 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

In our church services (last month and this) we are taking a "topical approach" to each Sunday service our pastor is addressing what he is calling "The Ten Big Questions." He is deliberately approaching the services from perspective of those not raised in the church, since (let's face it, church services are typically "preaching to the choir" so to speak).

Last Sunday he addressed "Is there life after death?" I was actually over in Macomb County last weekend and missed the service but I will be listening to it on-line. One thing I would not be surprised to hear him say (because he has pointed it out before) is something like this: Isn't it interesting that all civilizations that we know of reflect the fact that man is "wired" to worship. The only question is what or who they worship. Likewise, we are "wired" for that thought that the "flesh" stage is only part of who we are in eternity. I remember reading something on your blog a couple years ago that told me your faith is somewhat ecclectic from many world religions. I am glad that the Christ is predominant in your thoughts. What makes my faith perhaps less palitable to some is that He is that my faith and commitment is exclusively to Him. This is not to say there is not much to learn about the universality of man's being "wired" to worship and believe. This quest for relationship with God is fascinating, but I am one of those believers who believe Christ is the object of that quest, the one mediator between God and man. His own claims to be "THE way THE truth and THE life" and "that no man comes to the Father but by Him" make him much more than a prophet. I say these things not to stir debate, because I know His claims have been doing that ever since He made them, but to say that while I can take an interest in the various God-quests of man through the centuries and cultures, they reflect how man was wired by the creator and underscore that His Son was both embraced and rejected by those who did or did not have ear to hear.

I have been thinking about these "still here" thoughts (which by the way may have been the closest I've ever come to your ability to "write it and post it" in one shot that I have ever come) and the lines, as you said, reflect the limitations of human, earthly memory and our need to have "objects" to remember life by and the fear that when the objects are gone so will be the memory. In this case, it's our homestead, but in reality, all the kids and grandkids have chosen various items and furniture that will serve the purpose, and as the Children of Israel in the OT learned, it is by oral tradition of story that memories and "life lessons" can be passed from generation to generation.

Sorry to go on and on like this. I need to get out the door to work. =)

29/4/09 6:05 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I have read several of your updates but decided to comment here just to let you know I'm catching up. I will have more time this summer once the TLC preschool program closes for the summer.

I'm glad you are having fun with your siblings and I look forward to hearing about the estate sale. Enjoy every minute with your family...I'm sure there will be some future chapters from these get togethers.

I loved the back drawings. I never called it that but we did the same thing as kids and then again when my kids were small. What fun and I really like the name you used.

Have a great weekend. It felt good to catch up!

1/5/09 12:28 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I know the feeling of "being behind." This is probably the busiest month of the year here at school. There is something big going on every week. In about 20 minutes, I have to take the stage and introduce the school play (which this year is a comedy to lighten things up). Last night went great!

I do have 23-C almost ready to go. I just need an hour or so with it.
Thanks for stopping by and letting us know ou were here.

1/5/09 5:47 PM  

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