Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Joy is a choice

Portrait Two Water series
Stage One. (almost)
acrylic on canvas
Barbara Muir © 2010

Today on a beautiful sunny day, I was driving home
down a quiet street near my home. I stopped at
a stoplight, and was happily contemplating my
painting projects for the day, when I heard a loud
crash, and realized I had been hit from behind.

Luckily my car did not hit the car in front of me.
I sat dumbfounded, then got out of the car to
confront the driver of the other car. A nice
looking older man in a three piece suit began
to apologize immediately. We drove around the
corner, parked, and took down one another's information.

I was crying because I was whiplashed when
he hit me (yes I had my seatbelt on) and I was
also in shock. But we stayed relatively calm and civil.
When I got home I called one of my girlfriends
and she offered to drive me to pick up some canvas.
She reassured me that the car looked fine, but I'll get
that checked out at my favorite garage on Thursday.

So tonight, when Steven came home he sent me
for a nap, and he was right. I had dropped a full
cup of coffee, and stumbled and hurt myself thinking
I wanted to sit out in the sun for a minute to calm
down. I was a mess. But I thought of my students,
and how we are working on handling end of semester
stress, and I wished I could teach them more about
what I know. Unfortunately they'd certainly think I
was strange if I told them the method I used to relax
today. I remembered a meditation that says to picture a
calm, golden light and send it down from your head to
your toes, feeling it healing and soothing
wherever it goes. I did that, then had a short sleep.

Joy is a choice. Whatever else happens with this
business, I will be grateful to the man who hit me,
for saying he was so glad I was alive and fine. He
was right. I might be shaken, but I am so lucky to
have a loving network, and a resilient spirit. I get
the spirit part from my mother. I know that.

So I began the drawing for the second painting in
my series tonight. I was quite methodical, but I
guess still a bit dazed. I measured the first
painting because I want the heads to be the same
height. This may not work, because Shaniece, my
second model, has a slightly longer face than Claudia's,
But I calculated and put a mark on the canvas of how
high Shaniece's head should go. Then you know what
I drew her head anyway, ignoring my mark!

Yikes. Three steps forward and two back. And yet.
It's just charcoal, I will clean it off in a minute and
start again.

Have a choosing-joy-as-a-way-of-life day.


Melinda said...

Oh, my goodness! I'm so sorry to hear about the fender bender, but am very glad to hear that you are alright.

I'm very glad, too, that the man who hit you didn't take off or tell you it was your fault!

Excellent work here. It'll be interesting to see if your painting will come out differently as a result of being shaken.

Whew! Take it easy and best wishes with a calm and happy week.

Virtual hugs...

Anonymous said...

Barbara, O Dear!!! I have been hit from behind that way and had whiplash......which took Judy to eventually work on. I hope you book your appointment soon for her healing hands.
I am sending you healing thoughts and energy and wishing you a speedy recovery.
I'm loving your work and your attitude!
Flora xoxo

Kim Rempel said...

Whiplash is nasty. Be gentle with yourself...

Laurel Daniel said...

I, too, am so glad you are okay and that you chose joy in it all! It can be hard to think positively in moments like that... you are an inspiration. XOXOXO Laurel

Edgar said...

Golly Barbara! You are an inspiration with this story. How amazing that you kept your head and good attitude through this event. So happy to hear that you're not kept from doing what you want. I could use some of your stress-handling training!

Hope your neck and car recover handily.

Love the series, and the stage views!

Linny D. Vine said...

Oh no, Barbara. I hope that you recover from the accident quickly!This painting and your colors are gorgeous.

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!