Archive for June 11th, 2021

GC Myers- All Fall Down sm

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

I was thinking of the old nursery rhyme when I named the painting above All Fall Down. It’s a small piece included at my current show hanging at the Principle Gallery.

I was thinking of it in terms of how most of us stumble at some point in our lives. We sometimes find ourselves face down on the ground– physically or emotionally or sometimes both.

The trick, of course, comes in getting up.

Maybe I shouldn’t say trick. Maybe triumph would be a better word because every time we drag ourselves to our feet is a victory of sorts. Some of us don’t make it up every time so there’s cause for some small celebration.

I used the old nursery rhyme above at the top without even thinking about its origins which come from the Black Death or Bubonic Plague that ravaged Europe from the 14th to 17th centuries.

The first line– ring-a-round the rosie — refers to the red rings or rash that would first show on the victim’s skin. These would later transform into black boils or buboes.

The second line– a pocket full of posies — refers to the belief then that the disease was transmitted through a bad smell. People would carry flowers and put them to their faces in public to protect themselves from the bad odors. The plague doctors wore an odd birdlike mask which was shaped so as to allow the beak to be filled with fragrant flowers to protect them.

The third line– Ashes! Ashes! — can be seen either as the sound of a cough or sneeze from the disease or the ashes and soot in the air from the mass burning of the many bodies of the deceased.

The last line– We all fall down — is pretty obvious. So many died that one’s own mortality was unavoidable. Probably why such a thing ended up as a nursery rhyme. No sense in trying to hide something from the kids when you’re walking by piles of folks on the street.

But at least they didn’t have to deal with being magnetized! While on the way to the studio this morning, I walked by my car and found myself stuck to the side of it, an unwitting victim of  my vaccination! It took me twenty minutes to pry myself free and be on my way. And even then it was with a garden rake firmly attached to my butt.

Of course, I kid. When you’re faced with craziness and ignorance sometimes the only response is to laugh. Or make up simple songs and nursery rhymes. A couple hundred years from now folks might well be singing ditties about Magnetic Mary or something like that.

Let’s just hope that this time, as in the past, that we are able to get back up after the fall.

GC Myers- All Fall Down in situ PG 2021

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