Friday, October 25, 2013

Putting painting on the list


Gallery Tea
Watercolour and marker
6 x 9.5
Barbara Muir © 2013
My mother's memorial is this weekend -- a celebration
of life.  I just had a call from a friend in Los Angeles
who is a wonderful artist, and she encouraged me to
remember the celebration part of the memorial.  I
assured her that my short talk will celebrate my
mother's life, how could it not?

But I may not get to talk about the list.  I have been
lost since my mother's death -- sad to a level I can
rarely remember feeling. But of course I was that
sad when my father died too.  Here's the point -- the
sadness shunted me off my practice of making a daily
list.  It's a supremely simple but great practice.  If
I make a list, the things on it get done.

And it hit me -- that even though I essentially learned
list making through articles, and books, and a course
I taught which included time management -- my mother
was a tremendous list maker.  She was a doer.  And
when I'd call her up on Saturday and Sunday mornings,
she'd have accomplished so many tasks by 10 in the
morning, that I'd feel like a slacker by comparison.

So yesterday, in the midst of all the turmoil of
arranging for her memorial, I wrote a list.  Anchored
by that again, I am getting things done.  And on the list
is starting a painting.  So I have. This is a grey scale
watercolour, of part of what I'm planning.  The canvas
 will be in colour, but it's a winter scene so quite muted.

Have a getting-things-done day.

10 comments:

Sea Dean said...

Condolences Barbara. I went through this sadness with my father and partner dying in the same year. It never goes away but it does lessen in time. Put on your list to allow yourself to feel sad as long as you need to and don't let anyone try to hurry you along not even yourself.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

My sympathies are with you. The death of a parent knocks a person sideways. I'm glad you are back to painting and list making. Blessings.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I feel the same way and I know I will be ok at some point but the loneliness of knowing she is gone is with me constantly.
I am comforted to be able to share this with another who knows.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sea Dean,

Thank you so much. There's not much I can do about timing. I remember this with my father. Some days are just fine, and then whammo the smallest thing reminds you that your parent is gone.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I will be urging myself to recover, for me that is mental health.

XOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Elzabeth,

Thank you so much. It has knocked me sideways. We just buried my mother on Monday. That was like repeating the initial loss. However I do need to get back to work, so the lists are a must in this blurry time.

XOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you so much. I know I will recover too. But there are so many reminders. I was in a store yesterday looking at the kind of clothes she liked and realizing that her birthday is coming up and I won't ever be able to buy her a present again. I had to leave the store.

I am sorry for your loss, and the sadness of missing your mother.

XOXO Barbara

Sally Chupick said...

aww Barbara, I feel for your sadness and loss. God bless for the memorial service this weekend. Love the watercolour layout for your painting. Good idea to remember the lists...definately a good way to nudge yourself along while feeling the paralysis of grief. Hope you will be restored soon. xo

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Sally, then there was the catching up with everything else. There is a certain paralysis in grief. Hard to move on. People like you make it easier. Thank you.

XOXO Barbara

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Barbara,
I had the same sort of experience Monday when I had some long wished for (and she knew it) built in shelves installed. My first thought was to text her a photo. Yes, she was 86 and texting! I was so proud of her.
It is crushing and I am astonished to see Christmas lights going up when I have just lost my mama (September 15th) on what seems like yesterday or at least, only a few weeks ago.
Let's move through it together. There is no timetable for grief and loss. Yes, we will be alright, but not just yet.
Hugs to you.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

I understand. I talked to my mother almost every day. But I only realize now how vital those conversations were to my happiness. No one cares about the small details of my life the way my mother did. I could tell her about the sunrise or sunset, or flowers in my garden and she'd be interested.

Take care of yourself.

XOXO Barbara

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!