It’s been two weeks since I fell head-first down our back stairway, earning myself some souvenir bruises and a side trip to the emergency room. The black and blue has faded, and now there’s little left but peace to be made with the stretch of steps down which I tumbled.
So today I bring you a photographic update on my mixed-media redo.
This step features paint and decoupaged papers, including a map of Southeast Asia recycled from an out-of-date atlas. The circle painted a deep rose on the far right is covered with 2 sizes of orange and yellow stickers, the dots often used as price tags at yard sales. The decoupaged surfaces will be covered in multiple coats of an oil-based polyurethane to make them durable.
This step features a series of black and white concentric circles I painted in the op-art style popular during the 196os. It also includes more maps, one of Africa on the far right and another of Hanoi on the far left.
I painted the green and blue stripes on the far left, as well as the yellow circle on the far right, in an oil-based enamel. This step also incorporates more recycled and purchased papers, as well as maps from the same old atlas. The purple circle in the center of the step is a map of downtown Lexington, Kentucky, where my partner Sara and I live.
Here I incorporated even more scrap paper–both found and purchased–including a map of central New Delhi I used when taking a group of university writing students to India (white circle decoupaged on the green stripe). In the yellow circle is a copied photo of my nephew Johnny and me on his 6th birthday. (Some of you may remember the post I did when he graduated from high school 6 weeks ago.)
So far so good?
I may have tumbled down these stairs two weeks ago, but every once in a while, falls end in unexpected and creative places. Sometimes they take us full-circle.
Sometimes falls lead us somewhere sweeter, someplace greater–God’s grace recreated–redemption in paper and paint.
Has an accident ever proved positive or even redemptive in your life? How do you use art or writing to deal with seeming seeming setbacks?
Note: I’m using this “Rumble with the Tumble” series to take a break from writing my memoir about growing up in an organized crime family. To read chapter 1 of the memoir, click here .