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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, March 04, 2012

Sometimes Our Roots Hold Up Our Arms

After living in Michigan for several years, a former family at our school recently moved back to Minnesota, the home state of both parents. I was reading the mother's comment in the post below. They miss our school, and even though they are back in their home state, she said it doesn't feel like home yet.

I could relate. Julie and I went through the same thing 12 years ago. It takes time transplant roots and that feeling of being "planted." I've written about roots before, but not until that conversation in the comment section did it hit me that my family has roots in Michigan, Iowa, and Kansas... and the image  of a banyan tree came to mind. I have walked among  banyan trees in Thailand and Hawaii and it quite unlike anything I'd ever seen.

The older I get, the more life feels like that, like a banyan tree... it gets harder to tell our roots from our branches. The more the family grows the more interwtined our lives become with others. And just when it seems like we don't know where things are going, we're just glad to be alive... to feel the touch of rain, the warmth of the sun... and to know that sometimes it's our roots that hold up our arms.

Exodus 17:11-12  11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Treasured Pages

I thought I had seen everything Disney studios ever put out, but evidently not. Back in 1948, Walt Disney and his team were pioneering the craft of adding animation to regular camera footage. By today's digital standards, the outcome may seem quaint, and the style of the title song may even be cornny, but just the same, I think I'd rather watch the seamless segues in the opening scene of So Dear to My Heart than a Transformer destroying New York City.

Two other things occurred to me as I watched the clip below:

TV was virtually non-existent when this film was made. This was viewed by millions in theaters just after WWII. Think about what these images tell us about the values of that time period. Obviously, Disney's own values filtered his studio’s product, but the fact they were presumably "marketable values" that they also struck a chord with the audience of the day.

The second thing is bit obvious but worth mentioning. The film is made in 1948 but it is set just after the turn of the century. The device Disney uses to turn back the pages of time is a scrap book. The attic setting in the opening shot reminds me of my mother's attic which I have written about here at POI (though it is admittedly much neater than my mother's attic used to be). And, yes, up in that attic were some old scrap books with stories on each page and boxes of old photographs that introduced the characters.

I have a friend who is an avid "scapper" and writes about it a lot on her blog called Nitty Gritty. I think I'll send this link to her. She and her family recently moved back home to Minnesota and everyone misses them in their former school. I think she will enjoy this little-known Disney classic. It is a tribute to scrapping... the art of passing time on pages past from age to age. But my Nitty Gritty friend is more than an artist. She has the unique ability of gathering the bits and pieces of life--in real time-- and bringing feeling back to the fragments. She knows about making treasured pages and taking strength from the most treasured pages of all. 

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