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Falling...a Lot

John W. Pinkerton


I've been falling…a lot lately.

Linda has had to call the local ambulance folks three times recently.

They come and I convince them that I'm fine.  “Thanks.”

All of these incidences occur in the early mornings around four.  Of course the reason I'm up at that hour is because I need to make a “run” to the bathroom.

While up I have either fallen or simply can't get myself back to my chair---a total lack of strength and energy.

It has become so regular that I know what is to follow the incidences: a day or two recovering and finally I'm back to the new me---which isn't a prize.

By the time this essay is published, I might be 80.

I'm presently in the process of getting the last little bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

I've got an art show scheduled for July.  I've been preparing for this show since before my heart attack.  This bunch of paintings has been the greatest art challenge I have faced: they're all abstracts or as the cool people say “nonrepresentational art.”

A few years ago, I spent eight months painting abstracts.  One day I lined a few of them up on the back porch.  I decided that they were crap and put them in the garage.

About three years ago, I wrote an essay about  local artists' attempts at abstract art.  I was not kind.

Recognizing that I had been a smart ass, I decided to take up the challenge again.  I started by painting 100 11x14's.  Then I began to paint 24x24's followed by 32x32's.

As I usually am, I was correct again: abstracts are difficult…at least for me.  I keep having the urge to paint a goat or a cat or a dog or even a human being.

I realized years ago that Central Texas isn't abstract country.  Hell, it's barely bluebonnet painting country.  I don't expect to sell many if any at the proposed show. I'm doing these as a personal challenge and would like to see them hanging in a gallery for a moment.

The gallery owner sent me a message the other day asking if I still wanted to do a show in July.  Well….  I'm not sure.  I really don't have much to go to finish the project, but my health keeps me out of the studio most days.  I told her that I'd tell her one way or another at the end of March.  The end of March arrived and I had had a few “good” days, so I told her “yes.”

The other bit of a bother is my website, oldartguy.com.  I've been using it for years for artists and authors to display their stuff.  It's a really nice site with over eleven hundred essays, over a hundred and fifty poems, almost fifty short fictional works and one novel and five novellas, and sixty-four artists each having his or her own page and a gallery which includes current works.  In other words, it's a huge site.

I'm a little surprised it is still able to publish. It uses the Apple IWeb program which almost immediately after making it available decided not to support it.  But so far, I've found work-arounds when I've encountered problems.

Over time many writers have disappeared for various reasons.  I've also found that most artists have lost interest.

It's still a lovely site which I hope to land gently.  I expect that even after I'm gone, Linda will keep paying the bills so that the site will be available.

By the way, about twenty years ago I made a contract with the Lord that I would continue to produce art until I reached 80.  If all goes well, April 12 will terminate the contract if the Lord doesn't terminate me earlier.

In the meantime, I'll try to stop having to call the local ambulance service.