My Name

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What is my name?  Jack Baumgartner, John Beartrist Laceroot, Walking Man, and Flying Fish, or is it Jonah?  My name is His.

My family: my children and my wife, beautiful priest and teacher of the law, we live together on 5 acres of glorious dirt in Kansas.  We smell like sheep and goats, linseed oil and sawdust, lye and perfume.  Our home is filled with laughter, shouting, fighting, playing, wrestling, dancing, crying and singing.  We witness God’s glory in our land, in the dirt and manure, in the plants and animals.  A fire that goes up and water that flows down.  Together we embrace the problems of life and living on the land under heaven.  We struggle together.  We are His.  He is our provision.

Well met, you trees and stones draw near.  Many ancient maps have a legend and here is mine.

 

Cry His Blood!

His Goodness! Cry His Goodness!

Immeasurable, vast and endless!

Fierce.

 

A hermit, I was once alone in the wilderness,

A lunatic, blown by the madness of the Prairie

Desolate

 

A maniac screaming in the city

A trail of smoke, a cloud of ashes

Fleeing the rain of gravel hiding in the caves

The pit called, and my blood was spilled out

 

The fear: a looming giant dread

Backwards tumbling and helpless

Into a black hole, swallowed everything

 

Endless nights of torment locked hand in claw

A terrible giant winged scavenger

Rancid breathe, screeching for my soul

 

Doubting I ran and was swallowed

The enormous one, Askesis named

Kin to Jonah’s ocean mass

 

Then dungeon dust in a pinhole of sunlight

I was beheaded, laid dead

Scorched, bloated under the sun

Ash

 

Years and ages, Years and Ages

The disc turned inside the golden circle

The silver ring with star songs rang

 

Spring came

 

His beloved son

Never left, forsaken not

Birthed from the sucking mud

 

Abiding in a burning fire with the Golden Man

The dome, the Iris

The Universe

 

Witness trembling

Witness flying fish

Witness my Father destroying fear

 

Walk with bears and lions

A king among men greatly esteemed

A kind and gentle warrior whose trumpet shakes

 

Mining echoes of Ancient breath

In the dirt of promise

God unseen, unnoticed and rejected

 

Become the plumb line

Measure distance but never breadth

Proclaim a mystery

What no words can tell

Fierce and terrible Goodness

14 Comments on “My Name

  1. Hi Jack,

    My name is Kim Williams and my husband purchased one of your prints “Jacob Wrestling the Angel of God” a few years ago. We love your work, in all it’s manifestations, and have followed you through your website since then.

    I was teaching art in Topeka at a classical Christian school, but have recently taken employment from a curriculum publishing company as an art writer. (See here to learn more about the company – Dew Learning: http://dewlearning.com ) I am contacting you to see if you would be willing to give use permission to reproduce any of your art works in our curriculum. The target audience is Christian schools and home school families. I would love to introduce students to your work. I think the content of your work, as well as your obvious skill and creativity, would demonstrate what I hope to cultivate in student’s through art education – a vision of excellence and wonder for developing a christian imagination.

    I am happy to answer any questions you may have about Dew Learning or the art curriculum. You can also register to view an art lesson, in the pull-down menu under curriculum (choose online demo), should you want to take a closer look at what I am writing.

    Thanks for your consideration!
    All best,
    Kim Williams

    • I remember your husband, Kim. Thank you for writing. I will send you an email soon concerning your inquiry.

    • Hello Rabbi,

      Do you mean the woodcut version of Jacob Wrestling? You can see it on the page titled “printmaking” under the work heading of my menu, or on my Etsy store if you want to purchase one. I am in the process of making color reproductions of the painting, but they are not available yet. I hope that this answers you question. Thank you.

  2. I Jack , I am amazed by your dexterity are very good my best compliments could you build for me a bench like your in photos ?
    If you can let me known total price with shipping. I’m writing from San Donato Milanese, Milano in Italy. please reply to polinesia.maori@hotmail.it address or here.Best Regards Jo Parisi

  3. OK, you’re just freakin amazing. I am in awe. The Creation, the Incarnation, the reality of the blessed goodness of the world and earth and people. Thank you. Heading over to Etsy next…….. You mention your wife as priest. Episcopal?

    • Thank you, Grant, for your very kind and encouraging words. They help me tremendously to keep going. My wife is actually a minister in the Presbyterian Church.

      • Got it. I’m blessed by my own work and skills. Just about everything you do is outside of mine. I’m not jealous, just in awe. The world is a better place for all artists, farmers, visionaries. Any chance you have a print of Go On, Elijah in black and white? I think searching for image of Elijah at the cave entrance is what brought me to your work. One of my favorite stories.

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