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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

Saturday, March 05, 2011

To an Athlete Dying Young
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)  [Lines 1 through 20 only]

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields were glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honors out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
[In memory of Wes Leonard]

Wednesday night, at a gymnasium near Kent City, Michigan, my daughter's team won the most exciting game of their season with a buzzer-beater that capped a 52-50 win over our rival Algoma in round one of the District Tournament. In the moments after the swish of the net, dozens of players, students and parents swarmed around our team captain, Sydnie Clark (who made the shot). Our coach lifted her high in the air the way a father lifts a young daughter in playful jubilation. There is nothing like that feeling of shared accomplishment and victory. By now, we've all seen the footage of a very similar moment in another small Michigan town that happend just one night after our girl's victory. Last night, in the same gymnasium, we met for round two of district play and prayed for the Leonard family and that town as they work through this tragic loss. I was pleased that the "moment of silence" suggested by the MHSAA was followed by an actual prayer in that gymnasium.


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