Posts Tagged ‘Old Work’

I came across the post below earlier this morning. It was posted several years back, just a couple of weeks after my father was admitted to to a local nursing facility, suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia. Four years have passed now and his condition has, unsurprisingly, deteriorated. He is now among the folks I describe in the the last paragraphs below. I visited this past week and basically just sat across from him, an enforced six feet away for safety’s sake, and looked at him as he lulled in his padded reclining wheelchair.

I called across to him several times throughout the visit, Basically, a hello in there kind of thing. But there was no response, not even a flutter of his closed eyes. He was there but he certainly was not there, as well. I wonder what part of his memories his mind was moving through at that time, what form of reality it was taking.

Anyway, here’s that post from several years back, including another great song from the late John Prine:


GC Myers Early Work 1994I have a square cardboard box in one of the rooms of my studio. It’s not much to look at it and it certainly doesn’t have any significance attached to its exterior appearance.  But for me it’s a treasure chest, my secret bounty. You see, this rather plain box holds hundreds of small pieces from my earliest forays in paint from twenty some years ago.

They are not significant to anyone other than me. If you were to look in it you might not feel anything more than you would from looking at the old buttons, matchbooks and other tiny souvenirs of times past in someone else’s dresser drawers.

Many are clumsy attempts and most are deeply flawed in some way. But for me, they hold so much more deep meaning than is apparent from a first look. They are my artifacts, my history, my ponderings, my inner thoughts and my memory.

They are me.

There’s always a special feeling when I delve into them, like that feeling of looking at old family photos and vividly remembering moments that seem to have happened eons ago. I sometimes marvel at the brightness of my youth at that point and sometimes frown at the foolishness of it. I see where I thought I was going and can compare it to where I finally landed. There are ideas there that are dismal failures that make me smile now and make me wonder if I should have pursued them further.

And there are some that make me happier now than when they were done. Time has added a completeness to them that was lacking then.

And there are pieces like the untitled one above from back in 1994 that make me just stop and wonder where they came from. They seem like lost memories. I know I made this piece up in my mind but can’t remember why. I have skimmed over it a hundred times and never given it more than a shrug. But today I find myself looking intently at it as though it holds something for me that I can’t just pull out of it.

There’s a frustration in that but since I know that it is mine, I don’t really mind. I will have it for years to come and can question it again and again. Maybe my mind will release the secret or at least form a substitute reality at some point, one that brings me closure of some kind.

Who knows?

Today’s Sunday Morning music deals a bit with some of the same feelings. Well, I think it does.  It’s Hello In There from John Prine. Visiting my father in the nursing home has been hard, not just for the visits with him which still leave me shaken a little after each visit, but for the sight of the other older folks in even deeper states of dementia as they sit in their chairs in the hallways and dining rooms. There is a lonely blankness in their eyes that is heart-breaking.  You wish you could reach into them and pull their old self out in the open if only for a moment. But all you can do is say hello and hope they hear the words and the feeling in it.

Anyway, this is a great old song from John Prine. I hope you’ll give it a listen and have a great day.

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Running around this morning, trying to get some things tied up but thought I’d share an interesting version of the Jimi Hendrix classic Hey Joe as performed the Joscho Stephan Trio. Stephan is a German guitarist who primarily plays in the gypsy jazz style, as you might deduce from the beautiful guitar he plays. This is a fun and energetic twist on the song, a shot of ear caffeine to get the week off on and running.

I thought I’d throw in this old doodle, an oddity from twenty years or so back.  Done very quickly with a Sharpie and embellished with a little watercolor,  the figure is a simplified and stylized representation of the way in which the figures from my early Exiles series were painted, composed from blocks of color.  It was never meant to be seen outside my studio but I like this for some reason. He looks like he could be playing Hey Joe.

Give a listen and get your motor running.

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