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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, February 04, 2010

A Candle Came
.
A candle came
to mid-day light
and even then it shone
bright with the hope
that one tiny flame alone,
a wick aglow in a window,
can change the night;
its faint and flickering cry
from two points far apart
can burn just bright enough
to catch the eye
and turn a wandering heart
t’ward home.
© Copyright 2010, TK, Patterns of Ink

“Her name means light,” my daughter Emily said as we began to leave the hospital room last Friday, “I mean… in case you want to know what Nora means for something you might write someday.”

I smiled, because I knew it was Emily's way of planting a seed (if not giving me a small homework assignment), but nothing clicked at the time, and I forgot about it until last night.

After leaving school around 5:30PM, I dropped off a meal that one of our secretaries made for the young couple’s first week at home with a new baby. I stayed about a half hour, holding Nora in my arms the whole while. She opened her eyes only once. Toward the end of my stay she did make the faintest cry while being changed, but the rest of the time she just slept and squirmed and made cute baby noises.

Before I gave Nora back to Emily, she said, “I read your blog. That was real nice, Dad."
.
"Did you read all the comments"

"Yes, those were nice, too. Did you see the pictures from the delivery room on Facebook? I just put them up today.”
.
I hadn’t yet seen the pictures, and since I’m not on Facebook [Julie is], Emily pulled them up on her computer right there in the front room. As we were looking at pictures, she showed me the one I included above and said, “Isn’t it cool how the light caught her face just as the doctor was trimming the cord? She’s is less than a minute old in that picture.”

It was a remarkable picture taken at 1:43 in the afternoon by a new father in a moment of sheer relief and joy. When Emily mentioned the light on Nora's face, I remembered what she had told me Friday about the meaning of her name.

Just then I noticed that the candles in the front window had come on while we were sitting there.[i.e. small brass-based window candles Emily inherited from my mother’s house]

"Were those on a second ago? I didn't see them." I asked.

"They're on a timer to come on at dark," she said, clicking to the next picture.

That's the picture there to the right. It made me laugh because it looks like Nora was smiling and winking at her daddy's camera as her footprints were being taken for the birth certificate. There were lots of other great snapshots, and I chuckled and said "Awww" a lot in the way that only grandpas can do without sounding light in the loafers.[I mention that last part for my fellow grandpa, Keith’s dad, who has been a good friend through the years and shares my growing inclination toward misty eyes and wonder as we enter this new phase of life.]

It was after six o'clock and time for me to head home where Julie was making some chicken corn chowder for supper. I gave Nora back to her mommy, and stepped out the back door to my car.

The window candles again caught my eye as I backed out of their long driveway, but I thought nothing more about it. Then this morning, about ten minutes before my alarm went off, I woke with some lines tumbling around in my head. This happens to me sometimes so I keep a notepad in my bed stand, but to be honest I haven’t touched it in months. I scribbled the lines down, and to my surprise they still made sense after I took my shower.

I’m sharing this explanation only because it’s strange how, like in some dreams, there is a connection between seemingly unrelated events and a much more concrete image they later bring to mind. Only Emily will know first-hand the tie between real life conversations and the scribbled lines, but I hope someday they bring a smile to Nora’s face and remind her of the meaning of her name.
0174

5 Comments:

Blogger keith sandison said...

That's beautiful Dad. Thank you. Love, Your First Born

4/2/10 5:21 PM  
Blogger keith sandison said...

Keith now.

I'm going to print that, with your permission, and perhaps add some art to it, for Nora's baby book. I hope she is the kind of soul who brings prodigals Home. Beautiful imagery.

And you grandpas sure are misty-eyed. Been watching those Hallmark movies too much.

Thanks for the poem!

4/2/10 5:41 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Keith and Em,
Don't make fun of us Grandpas! Dave and I just know a good thing when we see it!

You two are doing a great job. I came home after seeing a cute movie with Julie and Nat (When in Rome) and saw that little Winston was gone so I guess you guys are all together as a family. He's a good dog. We don't mind watching hime at all.

Glad you liked the post.

4/2/10 8:01 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

Awww I can feel the love in my crusty old heart.

Do it up old grandpa's you got new jobs ahead of you now.

and kids, remember patience comes with rest and rest is spelled g r a n d p a r e n t s.

5/2/10 7:25 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Mark, I'm smiling abuot your crusty heart remark and also your use of "Awwwww." It's catchy isn't it?

5/2/10 4:02 PM  

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