By N.A. Booko
Pittsboro, NC – I have a mixed, messy and miserable story to tell today. In the 1960s, I made it my business to learn and make latex rubber mold of antique art objects, cast them in plaster of Paris, paint and ornament them into saleable items. I got good at it.
I have all but abandoned it the past forty years, but became inspired again last summer. I completed several rubber molds of art objects, but never got around to casting any items.
Last week I gave it a try. There was one mold of a guardian angel that I really wanted to complete. I cast some pieces on Monday and would do the trimming and smoothing of the rough edges Tue. The angel was ready Tue, so I set about fetching my trusty paring knife to do the delicate parts. I sat in the garden and did the work. I took my time. Perfection was the goal. I could just see the finished product. The wings would be left white, probably blond hair and a pinkish robe. The rose she was holding would be a dark red. I could just see it! Being able to see such in advance is a great aid to motivation. I have always felt if you can’t see it, you are not to anxious to start the project.
Finished trimming, I planned to return the angel to the drying table some fifty yards away. Angel in left hand and the knife in the right, I rushed to deliver it to assigned spot.
Suddenly, within seconds, the whole world changed! I instantly knew I was falling. I don’t know how many thoughts flashed in my mind, but it was many. “Oh, no!” was the first. The second instinct was not to let the angel break. Silly, I guess, but I remember thinking just that. I do remember raising the left hand with the angel. But golly, my face was the first thing that hit. At the moment, nothing seemed to matter. I just knew I was very badly hurt. I screamed. I screamed more. My nose had no feeling and my wrists felt broken.
My first thoughts were to call friends. I didn’t know what else to do. I did make calls, but no one answered. It took less than ten minutes to realize I was hurt, but not as badly as I had feared. A deep puncture wound on my right wrist, and an inside cut on my lip. The angel lay nearby in a dozen or so pieces.
Broken into a dozen or so pieces? I felt I was too. It had been nearly three years since my last fall. At age 84, no fall is good. I try to be so careful and with all my good intentions, it still can happen. It happens at the moment we least expect it.
It most likely won’t be my last fall. And being just a careful as I may, it can happen again; to me and to you. Watch your step!
P.S. – The angel is laying right there where it landed. Broken in a dozen pcs. I am leaving there as a reminder to be more careful when walking and moving at rapid pace.
From: N.A. Booko
Subject: Thanks to all . . .
I certainly want to thank each and everyone that emailed their good wishes for a speedy recovery. I am fine now. I am lucky.
I still say the moment you realize you are “in the fall”- time does a strange thing. It sorta leaves you mentally suspended- almost a torturous floating feeling, letting you know you are going to hit hard. And seemingly pointing out to you that you have been careless and not watching what you are doing or reminding you- you had no business taking the chance at your age.
There will be other creative days, other angels and the Lord willing, no days with falls.
Again, thanks to all who sent concerns and good wishes.