wolf whispers

on the train
heading home
lost in my own thoughts
my heart hurting
a sweet sound breaks through
that of a child howling
not crying, squalling, or fussing
howling
like a wolf at the moon
AH-OOO!
[but not too loudly]
it was a quieter, “ah-ooo”
made me smile
I peeked around my window seat and said aloud to the brown eyed boy behind me, “Is there a wolf back there?”
his eyes got bigger
as did his mother’s smile
I told him I like to howl like a wolf too
added that I have a big dog that looks like a wolf with a long nose and pointy ears and that he has a girlfriend that howled if he didn’t visit her fence fast enough when we went on walks
he has three dogs at home
one of them is named Luna
the same as Blue’s best girl
thankful for this brief moment
on the train taking me home
the day after a memorial service
for my grandfather
he was a moon howler too
great big, giant and loud, “AH-OOO!”
though for thoughtfulness of others
such as inside and on a train car
a quiet, nearly whispered, “ah-ooo”
I love you, Grandpa
Forever
your life’s work and legacy will live on
inside everyone who ever met and knew you and through your stories, music and poems
ah-ooo
ah-ooo
ah-ooo

April 12, 2015

more abundantly

20140614-110832-40112087.jpg

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
twice
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
heartsore
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.

day by day

“We make plans and God laughs.” I seriously said that aloud earlier this week, on Monday in fact. Like a “bring it on” idiot. Plans change. Sometimes fast. Thankful it’s just flu, and nothing worse. My Grandpa will still turn 98 tomorrow, just without us there in person. We’ll be there in spirit, and keep our germs at home. We have everything we need and will all be A OK soon. I boarded the dog anyway. That too is for the best. Funny thing is, in 20/20 hindsight, I scheduled more things this week than I’ve attempted all in a row for awhile. When first my youngest son was sick on Sunday, I started rescheduling, canceling and shuffling things around. The things meant most to happen did – like helping K3 finger paint, getting groceries (more jello), and visiting fast with friends. My oldest son knew I planned to call both boys off school today, so he diligently worked ahead. I had hoped he’d dodged this bug, but the 8th grader has it now. “Confirmed” like on MythBusters. Quarantined too. That’s what’s happening at my house. Happy Friday and wishing good health to you!

I’m packing away
a comforter today
the one my Grandma made
to top my childhood twin bed
twas my winter comforter
made of heavy fabric
for extra warmth
with a tangible weight to it
you know
when you’re nestled underneath
you can feel it
even as you sleep
Grandma and Grandpa’s love
always with you
they worked as a tag team
in nearly everything
my sister’s bed
sported a matching comforter
Grandma made two
nearly the same
a lot like my sister and I
for years I’ve said
(a bit tongue in cheek)
“She is the blonde version
and I’m the brunette.”
but beyond our similar look
face shape, smiles bright,
dimpled chin from our dad
we’re more alike than not
on the inside
I’m packing away
a comforter today
thankful
for the warmth, comfort and strength
this decades old blanket
made with Thompson Love
gave me
through the fall, winter and spring
now past

June 17, 2013

the first iris bloom
all the more special
because it is a transplant
from Grandma’s garden
Grandpa chose the colors
sent them North
in five gallon buckets
with my father
who dug up
the boring white ones
and planted vivid hues
that my grandmother first chose
and I prefer too
oh, the first iris bloom
looking forward
to yellow, pale blue, two-tone
the other colorful iris
that will follow
soon

May 13, 2013

Western Wisdom

I’m in the midst of typesettin’ two more of my grandfather’s Western Tales. Yesterday I caught myself readin’ instead of movin’ fast, flowin’ type, applyin’ style sheets, and fixin’ up his wonderful words for bein’ self published and bound into yet another family and friends book. Perhaps his last, as at 97, we know his body is wearin’ out.
Certain phrases and plot twist moments, keep jumping off my computer screen as I work, that make me grin and guffaw. Then there are others that make my heart squeeze in empathy.
The line of dialogue speaking to me right now is after the sheriff received a letter from concerned parents, asking after their hastily married off daughter who was sent away, “in trouble.” Instead of replying that she’d had her baby, and a few days later her worthless, no good varmint, rat of a husband was dead – murdered – Sheriff Wells simply said where they could reach their daughter. His mentor, John Wade, replied after readin’ the communique in progress, “Good shot. Let her tell her own story.”
Indeed. Yes. The other bit of advice I keep readin’ is to keep your head up high, no matter what the circumstances in your life. Lots of horse talk too. How I love that!
I’m completely charmed by my grandfather’s writing. Stories. Songs. Poetry. I have been since childhood. It’s more poignant now. Readin’ with a woman’s heart.
He’s a marvel. Still alive and kickin’, atop a bluff overlookin’ the mighty Mississippi River where he’s lived since he was nine months old, other than those years he was needed to serve his country in WWII. He began writing stories while recovering from night patrol injuries in a hospital in England. The Red Cross gave him paper. He mailed the stories home. All because he’d read everything he could get his hands on, and figured he could do as well or better. Once he started writing, he never stopped. That is a lesson for me, and all the aspiring authors I know. Writers write. A lot.
~ Janean Marie Thompson Baird

April 10, 2013
Quote from, “The Invincible Three” by Erwin A. Thompson.

I love the rain
Spring rains will come soon
thunderstorms and gentle mists
I welcome both

I love walking in the woods
and on a gravel road
lined with trees on either side

I love resting
whether on a proper bench
or plopping on the ground

I love the river
especially Grandpa’s river
the mighty Mississippi
standing atop his bluff
looking o’er her curving path
there I can breathe

I love to smile
and often do
a gentle curve of lips
or crooked at the corner
a flash of teeth and quick laugh
full wattage mega kind too
the best ones reach my eyes

I love the rain
I walk my dog without an umbrella
wearing rain boots with peacocks
splashing through puddles
with a grin
laughing at my prancing pup

I am not dead. I am here. Thank you, God, for these simple things and the ability to find joy in quiet moments such as these. Thank you for family and friends, and the powerful prayers of Your people who are lifting up my cancer fighting husband and me and our boys asking for the strength and courage we need to weather this vicious storm. We are thankful, humbled and oh, so very blessed. Hope bubbles fresh anew each day. Your love will see us through. ~Janean

January 25, 2013

Photograph taken on January 16, 2013, standing atop my Grandpa’s bluff, overlooking his river, my Heart Home, that place where I can breathe.

Here Lies the Remains of a Girl Who–Did What Now?: Put yourself back together.

autumndragonfly:

  • Sit quietly in a storm without an umbrella, without a word of complaint. Let the rain wash away every ounce of bitterness that has been used to write a eulogy on your skin.
  • You’re not dead.
  • Remember.
  • Drive down to the river. Drive down to where the industrial waste has not re-colored the…

I love the rain
Spring rains will come soon
Thunderstorms and gentle mists
I welcome both

I love walking in the woods
and on a gravel road
lined with trees on either side

I love resting
whether on a proper bench
or plopping on the ground

I love the river
especially Grandpa’s river
the mighty Mississippi
standing atop his bluff
looking o’er her curving path
there I can breathe

I love to smile
and often do
a gentle curve of lips
or crooked at the corner
a flash of teeth and quick laugh
full wattage mega kind too
the best ones reach my eyes

I love the rain
I walk my dog without an umbrella
wearing rain boots with peacocks
splashing through puddles
with a grin
laughing at my prancing pup

I am not dead. I am here. Thank you, God, for these simple things and the ability to find joy in quiet moments such as these. Thank you for family and friends, and the powerful prayers of Your people who are lifting up my cancer fighting husband and me and our boys asking for the strength and courage we need to weather this vicious storm. We are thankful, humbled and oh, so very blessed. Hope bubbles fresh anew each day. Your love will see us through. ~Janean

January 25, 2013

Here Lies the Remains of a Girl Who–Did What Now?: Put yourself back together.