more abundantly


sitting at my art table
a movie
playing in the background
“Finding Normal”
first time I’ve seen it
mostly listening
when John 10:10 is spoken
the latter part of the verse
catches my attention
“…I am come
that they might have life,
and that they might
have it more abundantly.”

I look up as I hear it
for sitting on the windowsill
in my direct line of sight
is John 10:10
though the translation varies
the sentiment is the same
live abundantly
as you walk with The Lord
this passage came to me twice
both times through art
first time as a response
to my Good Friday art
then again today
a year later
in mid June
as I work on a gift
a piece I’m sort of keeping secret
until it is done
the timing is His
meant to be
this whispered reminder
from an unexpected source
so much has happened
in the in between
so much
my heart is still processing
some days reeling
art making helps ease the ache
art is my path
to healing
to life
more abundantly

The photo shows two passages of scripture propped up by whittled animals, both the handiwork of my grandpa, Erwin A. Thompson. The hound dog is in charge of John 10:10 from the March 2013 Good Friday art show mentioned above. The cat is curled up with Revelation 21:4-5, the prayer team’s response to, “Restore” and “Rebuild,” the art I made for the April 2014 Good Friday show.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Revelation 21:4-5

Feels right. Even more so rereading and pondering two months later. It goes together. All these seemingly random parts of my life story. My art medium is collage. I cut and glue and puzzle together pieces of cut and torn paper to create an image. The art in progress now is a river. Grandpa’s River. The Mississippi. The Mighty Miss-is-ip.

June 14, 2014

…and I clicked publish on this post before unpausing the movie and watching a little more to find out cancer is one of the themes in the movie. Of course it is. Damn it.


21 thoughts on “more abundantly

  1. Had the devil’s own time finding this means of commenting … maybe it was supposed to be that way. Give me a little time to think of something consoling, or some such nonsense. “Nonsense” because there can be no consoling; not here; not now. But there is consolation, as you very well know; after all, you quoted “[i]Revelation[/I]”.

    Hmmm … I see you’ve managed to use italics … maybe by means of (Aha! Ablative absolute! I remember that from HS Latin!) HTML … I’ll give that a try … I’m a nut for proper use of type, from my old life.

    You may have guessed that I’m not a Christian, though I do admire Christianity for many reasons, nor am I a Jew, though I grew up in that milieu. My Cherokee friends call me a shaman, or whatever word they manage to pronounce that means roughly the same thing … one who walks in both worlds, and they have a name for me that they give a certain mystic ring: “The Blue-Eyed Man”. All because I seem to know things that they ought to know, too, if they would but look. I seem to get it from my grandmother, who knew things that she shouldn’t, and drove the family bananas with. They say these things run in families.

    Anyway, consolation will come; believe it. Your job in this life is to learn to live with the pain, which you are already doing, and the boys are a great help. And that’s a good thing, too, because a shorter-term job in this life is them. Their helping you is a great lesson for them; no mistake about that. Keeps all your feet on the ground.

    Poetry … you remark about the clever rhymes in the Milne … have you ever read Ogden Nash? I love his nutty rhymes and pithy poems. I think there might be some of his work still available.

    Take care …

    • Dear C, dW, Blue-Eyed Man,
      Thanks for your words offered in friendship and comfort. Grief is a journey. Joy and sorrow walk closely, “like train tracks” is the analogy shared with me by my friend, Angel. That’s how a body can go from laughing to crying in an instant. The return of laughter is a gift. We are enjoying sImple pleasures and moving slower through life with less busy and more time spent at home.

      I can’t figure out how to use italics in the comment field. I did find the button to click and apply italics for my initial post though. As a reader, writer and former graphic artist/art director I am familiar with proper use of type. What was your old life when type use mattered?

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your religious background. You speak with compassion, wisdom and kindness. I am a Christian and believe in the Trinity of Father, Son, Holy Ghost. I get frustrated by the division of denominations and just want love, peace, joy and be kind. I try not to be too “over the top” but do know where I stand. I am His.

      I am thankful our paths crossed first at My Opera and that we reconnected here. Yes, “these things” do run in families. It’s Biblical even, lineage and family trees were documented for a reason. Years ago, before the cancer, I drove my husband crazy with the phrase, “The Universe is talking.” So, driving people bananas is a specialty I happen to understand. Lately, The Universe is talking again. I’m trying to listen.

      I’ve admitted before I’m not well read in poetry. Thank you for suggesting Ogden Nash. I grew up hearing my grandfather’s poetry and have always been captivated by the rhythm of words in children’s picture books. Writing poetry myself was a surprise. I never set out to do it. The words were just there. I’m a fourth generation poet. Evidently, these things run in families too. My boys make it five.

      Taking care here. You do the same.

      Brown-Eyed Girl

    • Well, as far as what I did to acquaint myself with type … BFA, University of Chicago, simultaneously with employment as a technical illustrator … for a research project at the U of C, then for a firm supplying drawings for Ames Field in Palo Alto. A stint of several years as a Graphic Designer for Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago (Yes, THAT Arthur Andersen & Co,!) and head of the typesetting department (briefly). Then a short bit of head of the art dept. in a printing firm in Milwaukee, then 25-30 years as a picture-frame builder … I found I was happiest working with my hands. But to this day, I see a line of type and yell about it … these young louts say “It’s right; a computer set it.” and that’s what they call typography now … Jeeze, I remember ordering hot type and saying “Space for colour”, and the typesetter would sometimes go so far as to file the type body a little thinner to get the spacing right. And then I turn around and see these gappy lines, or black spots in ’em … Holy Moly! What are we coming to?
      If you’d favour me with your regular email, I’ll send you a file of stuff I’ve done … it’s all mixed up and out of order, but it’s there.

      • dW, WOW! Your resume, with an emphasis on typography, is quite impressive! Thanks for sharing a bit about your professional background. I have a BFA dated 1993. At that time I had a part time commercial art teacher who also worked in advertising. Since she wasn’t 100% immersed in academia she taught us real world skills like how to use press on type and make boards with a blue-line pencil and transparent overlays. Boards. We were probably one of the last classes to learn how to prepare them. I worked in advertising doing catalog page production on macs for sixteen years. At my first job after college I learned about film being used for making plates on press and reducing pre-press costs by stripping black changes in, instead of outputting four new pieces of CMYK film plus a proof. During my years in advertising film faded away and print jobs went direct to plate. My email address is: janeanbaird at yahoo dot com.

  2. I hadn’t gathered C was not a Christian. I had my idea, my heart, that he was…

    Janean, thank you for your post. I sense the urgency as you penned the messages from God-
    colliding, revealing-

    as if you must race to pen them- this was so exciting, such a gift-

    God’s timing is perfect. His messages stand to you, even as you unpeel the onion, even as you watch His truths to you and for you unfold before your eyes.

    Blessings to you as you heal. God’s gifts and promises you will see in the healing passageway of your art. You will hear His voice. Remember them when you get on the other side.

    • Jill,
      Thank you for your beautiful words. I did just HAVE to write these words. I paused the movie, stopped making art and began to write… Then, before I finished the thought, someone called, “Mom!” asking about lunch, the dog woofed needing to go out, and time went by. I added the P.S. after returning to my art table and unpausing the movie.

      The John 10:10 scripture was in response to the 2013 Good Friday art I made and titled, “Ocean of Love” and “Under Attack.”

      Your analogy of the onion is a beautiful one. Yes, there are many layers to face, peel back, and cry through, on this journey to the other side. God’s timing IS perfect. His promises are real. Thankful for your friendship and reminders of His love.

    • The most concise description of my position is, I think, basically a Buddhist one: “There are many paths to the top of the mountain. Some are easy. Some are hard. But they all arrive at the same place.”.

      • Jesus said, “I am the Way…No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

        He also said, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” Matthew 21:42

        Blessings. Abundant. Exceeding, abundant beyond all you could ever ask or imagine.

  3. Janean, apparently your attention to your email is as “sometimey” as your attention to this blog … you have TODAY to download that stuff I sent.

    • dW,
      I hadn’t forgotten. I downloaded it today before it expired. You’ve mentioned technical difficulties on your blog in the past. I knew it was going to take some time and a bit of working around for me to get the files transferred and open. It did take some time, and I had to do it from the PC not my preferred mac or via my usual mobile interface. It was worth it.
      Your calligraphy is glorious. A gift you have. A lost art for sure. Jill would love to see the scripture and prayers especially.
      The midwest painting with the great big sky made me catch my breath. How I love a big expanse of sky. I visited Montana when I was too young to remember. I want to go back and see Big Sky Country with my grown up eyes.
      I liked the sculpture of the woman too. And the drawings of landscapes and ships and the castle. Your imagery appeals to me.
      I am responding now, right after I downloaded and opened the artwork you shared with me. Thank you for sending it.
      Perhaps I am “sometimey” in my replies. I am doing my best. There is a lot to see to and then a little more. This blog, which holds words from my heart, has had to be shelved for a bit while I tend to the people and pets in my care, as well as do the work of the household. In November of 2011 I wrote a poem called, “fragile.” That label still applies.

      • Apologies … I thought you would be able to open it easily. RAR is so common, and I use it to be sure little bits and bytes don’t come adrift in the transmission. It’s like ZIP, only better. I reckon I should have said that you can google it and it will tell you where to download.
        Yes, I knew you were a busy woman … I just had no idea you’d be cutting it so fine.
        That landscape (skyscape) you mentionerd is an amusing result of a casual remark by one of my profs that a good landscape is usually 1/3 land or 2/3 land, the rest being sky. I said to myself “That’s bull!” So I painted that painting which is 1/8 land and 7/8 sky. It has received raves from everyone who has seen it.
        Your story reminds me of one I heard many years ago on the radio, where they were discussing one’s “home” landscape. It seems a girl from the prairies, the Great Plains, met and married a man from West Virginia, where they thereupon lived for a considerable period … ten years or so. It befell that they then had to pull up stakes and head West … Wyoming, Colorado, or some similar place, so they packed up a truck and headed West, down, out of the mountains. And when they began to emerge into the flat lands of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, he looked at her and saw she was crying. He asked why, and was told that she hadn’t realized that she missed the big, open sky of the prairies so much, and was crying for joy to see it. He, being a mountain boy, was made a little uncomfortable by so much naked sky … nowhere to hide, I suppose, so they stopped in a motel and made plans, realizing that both of them had to feel comfortable in the same place, or one would always be unhappy. So, they bought a house snuggled up to the Rockies, but with a clear view Eastward, where the Great Plains stretched forever. So he could look out the West windows and feel his mountains, and she could look East and feel the endless prairie.
        BTW, there is a BIG stretch of the Rockies/Plains interface where, from the air, it looks like the mountain/prairie junction had been cut with a gigantic knife … on one side is mountains, the other is plains.

      • dW,
        I taught my boys to say, “Apology accepted.” Computers are all so individual and have their own quirks and puzzles. No way you’d have known my technology conundrum. I’ve lost track of when we bought “The Bat Computer.” That’s the nickname I gave the all black PC in the basement.
        ZIP is familiar to me from my Art Director graphic artist days. I have the free shareware for that and still use it. Now I know about RAR, thanks to you, and figured out how to use it.
        Your story behind gorgeous sky painting with some land in it, resulting from a challenge/dare from your teacher is about as wonderful as the resulting artwork. If my teachers ever taught us a landscape ratio of land to sky I promptly forgot it.
        The story from the radio is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it here. I love it! Marital compromise in the ideal location for them with views that soothed and filled both of their souls at the same time. Peace. Bliss. Happiness. It’s all good.
        Your comment here would be a strong post on your blog along with your painted landscape. Something to consider.

  4. Um … P.S, I guess … Re: Jill: I sent her a copy. She never downloaded it. I’ll send it again, but she’s gotta ask, so I know she wants it. Maybe she’ll see this discussion and ask.

  5. It is good that you have them. I have my My Opera archive sitting on my desktop as a saved file too. You had a lot more time and commentary invested in your albums than I did. That is a loss, that comments on individual photographs couldn’t be saved and transferred the same way comments on blogs were. I’m amazed so much transferred so well to Word Press. Thank you for making sure through Jill that I got word that My Opera was folding. When I set this site up I merged my two blogs into one. I wrote a lot at Tumblr. That community isn’t set up for wordy comments, just “likes” or “hearts.”

    • Yes to John 10:10 for sure and Revelation 21:4-5 is the scripture I wrote on the back of “Mourning Dove” when I completed it. Felt right in every way. Thank you for reading this post today. Your timing is all the more amazing and beautiful because I emailed the link to my sister earlier after she wrote to say she’d watched, “Finding Normal.”

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