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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, April 30, 2011

"Because I Knew You..."

Some folks asked me to post the video I made for the banquet last week. Since posting it Sunday, POI has had well nearly 600 hits in six days. Thanks for watching, and sharing the link with friends who may be interested in a great school that has made a difference in thousands of lives since opening in 1980.

On Wednesday, I re-posted the video with a few minor changes and with the help of my friend Greg at T1GTV, we were able to get the whole video into one link. You'll notice a musical theme that recurs at beginning, middle, and end. It is the song "For Good," by Stephen Schwartz.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cross Words

Years ago, I had a much older friend, a long-retired teacher in his late seventies who took pride in his mastery of the English language. Every morning at breakfast, he perused the morning paper circling random spelling errors and typos with glee between spoonfuls of oatmeal.

This proof-reading was a warm up of sorts for what awaited him on the final page: the daily crossword puzzle. On most mornings, it was child’s play, and he hastily filled its blanks while sipping warm coffee. In no time, he downed the last cold inch of brew, plunked the cup to the table as if it were an empty shot glass in some old-west saloon, and he rose victorious from his seat, ready to face the hazards of his day.

On rare occasions, however, he drew a blank on a crossword answer and felt trapped at the table. It was only a puzzle, but in the order of his world and sequence of his day, leaving the breakfast table without conquering the word-grid was tantamount to losing his keys before stepping out of his parked car, a embarrassment he had suffered increasingly with age.

Years later, I was a pallbearer at his funeral, and these memories brought a faint smile even as the weight of his casket strained my grip.

Me. I’m not a big fan of crossword puzzles. If I happen to have time on my hands at an airport or in waiting room, I may dabble at some random unfinished puzzle, but I can drop it mid-way as effortlessly as cutting short a telemarketer’s phone call during dinner.

CROSSWORDS have been on my mind during this season of Lent—but not in the sense that I have thus far shared. I have been meditating on the brief bits of dialogue in the gospels from the day of Christ’s crucifixion, particularly the stark contrast between the cross words Christ heard that day and the meek words Christ spoke from the cross.

Below I have highlighted some of the cross words Christ endured in the hours before his death, followed by the words he spoke from the CROSS.
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Cross Words Christ Endured That Day:
Matthew 26:65-67
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

Matthew 27:28-30
"They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,  and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again".

Mark 15:7-15
“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.
 “Crucify him!” they shouted.
 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified
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Luke 23:1-5 and 18-20
Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”  (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)  Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

John 19:19-22
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”  Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Words Spoken from The Cross That Day

Using the accounts from all four of the Gospels, there are traditionally seven short utterances spoken by Christ from the cross. It is assumed that they are short because of the difficulty of breathing while being crusified.

Traditionally, these seven sayings are called words of 1. Forgiveness, 2. Salvation, 3. Relationship, 4. Abandonment, 5. Distress, 6. Triumph and 7. Reunion.

Luke 23:34
Then Jesus said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".
This first saying of Jesus on the cross is traditionally called "The Word of Forgiveness".

Luke 23:43
And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise".
This saying is traditionally called "The Word of Salvation".[14] According to Luke's Gospel, Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one of whom supports Jesus' innocence and asks him to remember him when he comes into his kingdom.

John 19:26-27
Jesus saw his own mother, and the disciple standing near whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son". Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother". And from that hour, he took his mother into his family.
This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Relationship" and in it Jesus entrusts Mary, his mother, into the care of a disciple.

Matthew 27:46
Around the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, saying "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" which is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" see also Mark 15:34.
This saying is traditionally called "The Word of Abandonment" and is the only saying that appears in more than one Gospel. This saying is given in Aramaic with a translation (originally in Greek) after it. This phrase is the opening line of Psalm 22.

John 19:28
He said, "I thirst".
This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Distress" and is sometimes compared and contrasted with the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan Woman at the Well in John 4:4-26.

John 19:30
Jesus said, "It is finished".
This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Triumph" and is theologically interpreted as the announcement of the end of the earthly life of Jesus, in anticipation for the Resurrection.

Luke 23:46
And speaking in a loud voice, Jesus said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit".
This saying, which is an announcement and not a request, is traditionally called "The Word of Reunion."

I trust whenever you hear the term "crossword" again, you think not only of a puzzle but of the most puzzling truth since the beginning of time: that Christ endured the wrath of God and man for us and even in those hours when spit and hate and cross words were being hurled at him, only love was spoken from the cross in return as the worthy lamb was slain.

But that was Friday. Today is Sunday. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Happy Easter
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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Almost Home Again...

There were times between 2004 and 2010 that writing at Patterns of Ink was my personal outlet, and in some ways it was a connection to family during the years my mother tried to find some sunshine through the cloudy skies of cancer. I had a sense of urgency to write about our camping trips and other things that Mom enjoyed to read, and she helped me with that Duncan Phyfe story that capsulated my parents’ first year of marriage. Then after Mom died in 2008, I had a sense of urgency about writing Unsettled as my siblings and I were unsettled about what to do with the family homestead. It was all very cathartic, and some readers followed along.

I look forward to the time I can write more regularly here again. It has been a busy year with plenty of urgent deadlines and tasks but not such a good year for personal blogging thus far.

Today I opened Patterns of Ink and saw that I have not posted since March 17, when I told you about our water damage. Spring Break for our school has come and gone, but it was a task-driven week for me, and I am exhausted. It was this week that all of the insurance work (as well as the projects triggered by those improvements) came to a head. The ruined part of the ceiling was torn out and replaced--looks as good as when it wsa built in 1969. Wall damage fixed. New bathroom fan. Kitchen light repostioned..Stained carpet is replaced, and lots of other carpet put in, too.

Literally every room in the house, has been emptied or stacked full of furniture for two weeks. Yesterday, room by room, as the carpet layers completed sections, we put our lives back together.

Today our carpet installer, Brent, came back to finish the final touches on the basement stairs. After three days in our house, he seems like an old friend. Today being Saturday, he brought his four-year-old son, Bryce, as his helper. He’s a great kid who wants to do everything just like his Daddy does. His father’s forehead was dripping with sweat so Brent pulled a bandana from his back pocket, rolled it, and tied it above his brow as a sweat band. His son asked, “If I get sweaty, too, can I wear one of those.” There is nothing like watching a four-year-old help his father work.

After Brent and Brice left, I crossed the living room carpet in stocking feet. It felt like a stepping into a brand new pair of slippers. In my recliner where I usuallly write, I began this post, looking up occasionally at the empty wall at the end of the room.

Here is the craftsman who removed the ruined finish, prepared the legs, polished the pedals, reconstructed the inside workings, and will apply the final darker finish. The restored piano will be the last piece of the water-damage puzzle, but it is still in that quaint refinishing shop in Spring Lake, stripped down to the faded rose-tones of bare mahogany. We look forward to its arrival at the end of the month, but until then... it almost feels like home again.

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