Friday, February 28, 2014

The Old Red Top ( Lost and Found No.19 )

                                                 An original, mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                                 3.5x5" unframed, - ( mat size, 8.5x10")
                                                 $45.00, ( plus $6.00, pack and ship )

     This is another of the miniatures which I used as something to occupy my time
while I was remaining still, during recuperation from heart surgery.  The little red
top I included in this one, was one of several tops which were passed down to my
brother and I when we were boys, from a time-worn, toy collection which our
father and his brothers played with when they were boys.

     In this new electronic age, the old days of simple, hand-made, wooden toys
must seem like very ancient history to today's generation of children.  Tops such as
this one must look like odd little curiosities to them, and I doubt that any of the kids
would have any idea of how to play with them.

     Ancient history it may be, but I can still remember hours devoted to seeing how
long we could make the tops spin, by carefully wrapping the top's string around them
before we launched them.  The more tightly the string was spiraled around the top,
the faster it would spin when it was thrown with great force, while still holding on to
the end of the string.  Then, like things which had come alive, the tops would hop
around a bit when they first hit the pavement, but they would quickly right themselves
to stand on their points and spin as if determined to drill their tips into the concrete.

     But sooner or later the tops would loose their high-speed velocity, and they would
begin to wobble a bit, and then spin in arcs, as they struggled to maintain a vertical
stance, before finally toppling over and rolling to a stop.

     There is a metaphor in that for us isn't there?  We spend our lives spinning along
at top speed, until we finally begin to loose our momentum, and then we start to wobble
a bit and loose our balance.  And usually when it about over, that wonderful spin
turns out to have lasted for a much shorter time than we were hoping for when we began.