From Beginning to End

see, I raised this one up for you

see, I raised this one up for you

from beginning to end

from beginning to end

I led him to slaughter

I led him to slaughter

he fed my community, my family and neighbors, your mother, brothers and sisters

The second biggest cottonwood in Kansas stood by as a witness to the shedding of blood

this ancient, the second biggest cottonwood in my land stood by as a witness to the shedding of blood

thank you to my friend Brad for some of the pictures this week

19 thoughts on “From Beginning to End

  1. Thanks Jack!!!!!! The taking of another life to feed ourselves should never should never be under estimated. Thanks!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment, James. I certainly wish to be deliberate in my esteem for life and provision.

  2. Beautiful post, as always, my friend. So goes the circle of life and I take comfort in knowing how sacred you take the entire process. Great photos too. Is that cottonwood out at Fall River aka Old Boaz? It’s pretty crazy!

    1. Thanks, Mikey. I am grateful to be a participant and a witness to what has been established as sacred. That cottonwood is actually on the southern edge of Eldorado, on the edge of the gravel parking lot of the butcher who processed my lamb. “my land” in this context being Kansas. There are some big cottonwoods at Old Boaz, but none approaching that big feller in Eldorado.

      1. I didn’t think any trees that huge were on your land out there, as I wouldn’t have remembered them– but I thought maybe I missed it? That tree deserves for the parking lot to be dug up and for the prison in Eldorado to be bulldozed. In fact, everything there can go, excepting your buddy Peter’s print shop, of course. It’s a fantastic tree, and to think of all of the twisters and Kansas wind it has endured. Incredible!

    1. Your mighty welcome, Rick. It is good to be a partner with you in compassion and honesty. The biggest cottonwood in the state is in Studley. I think the biggest of all is in Nebraska.

  3. Is that a train track up above this wonderful cottenwood keeping it company? My grandchildren, Jack, have raised their own named chickens and then been participant in these same chickens routes to the table. It pleases me no end that in one generation we’ve come around to this, since I was raised on Campbell’s soup and frozen vegetables. I stand in awe when my daughter takes this on. Your posts, as always Jack, are food for the soul.

    1. Yes, Jana, that is a Burlington Northern and Sante Fe line up there. Thank you for sharing about your daughter’s family and journey. And I am grateful indeed that my posts have some nourishment.

    1. Don’t know about being a ghost, Steven. I do think you do have a big spirit that sees much and deep.

      1. I hope so Jack, one wants a big spirit….but something about what you have shown here…this is so multi dimensional & rooted in the land…so utterly real…and such an overpowering series of images.

  4. And speaking of ghosts, I love that image of you against the tree. The scale, and the way you’re so close in tone to the bark that you almost appear to be a part of the trunk. Beautiful.

    If I reared animals for the table I too would eat meat. The last time I ate lamb it was an animal from the flock of a friend who farms in S Wales, and very good it was too.

    1. A friend of mine said (probably in jest at my personal lack of girth) “whats that fencepost there in front?” That tree makes any man feel both small and great at once. And the lamb, he was profoundly good to eat, if I say so myself.

  5. i respect you honesty but i have to say it was a bit harsh for me( sorry for my English). i love your posts any other day. tx

    1. Nir, thank you for your comment, and the gracious expression of your opinion. Your English is excellent as far as I can tell. The post, or subject of it, was a bit harsh for me too, if you want to know the truth. However, harsh and painful things are part of a reality that I have, for both good and ill, embraced. I am glad that you enjoy the blog most of the time, and hope you’ll stick around.

      1. Jack, thank you for your answer. I enjoy your blog a lot, i wait for it. your art fills me from within. your composition of pictures always leaves me more curious then when I started. wood is one of my big loves and what you do with it is just beautifall. thank you.

      2. Nir, you are most welcome, and to you, my deep thanks for hospitable consideration and friendly words.

  6. Good Morning Jack. I have some questions about goats. I have missplaced your number so e-mail it is If a you get a chance today sometime would you give me a shout. Thanks Jim 316-650-2773

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