Saturday, March 10, 2012

Time Out

Stormy Seas   50x40"   oil/cold wax on panel © Janice Mason Steeves 2012

I've had to cancel my show in Vancouver that was scheduled to open on April 28th.  Not only is my arm still too painful to use it even in a supporting role, but I seem to have also developed some other ailments, including a so-far undiagnosed painful and swollen foot.  And as well, an infected eye.  I almost laughed when the eye became infected,  What more could go wrong?  A friend wrote to say that we're like old cars, you just get the door replaced and the bumper falls off!

One hilarious thing happened last week.  I was taking a short walk with my daughter and my puppy when a couple of  large Golden Retrievers ran up to us.  Both dogs promptly sat at my feet, looking up expectantly at my broken arm, and panting.  I have developed this odd way of holding my arm to keep it elevated, where I bend it at the elbow, fingers facing forward and sort of flopped down over the cast.  The arm sits there in the cast, as though I am the Buddha, offering a blessing.  The dogs thought that I was offering them cookies for sitting so nicely! 

I am reminded of when I used to visit my aging mother in her senior's apartment block. I was fearful of riding the elevator up to Mum's 10th floor apartment in case one of her friends got on at the same time as me. I learned never to ask the simple question, "How are you?", because the answer would most often go on for at least 10 floors, detailing a litany of ailments.  With all my own current list of maladies, I have to focus on not becoming an elevator lady.

In her blog post yesterday, Alyson Stanfield wrote about 6 Brainless Business Actions for when you're wiped or your creative juices are spent.  These include tasks such as organizing image files, updating lists, trashing files and backing up your computer.  Interestingly Alyson's post came in just as I have completed the enormous job of updating my inventory that was several years behind.  I'm aiming to use this time out to develop a new course as well as a couple of presentations.

But I also intend to use this quiet time to catch up on some reading and to meditate on a regular basis, a practice I aim to do but often do not make time for.  I do a different sort of meditation when I paint. Some people would call it being in the flow.  It is a more active meditation, where I turn my attention inward and open to energy flowing into and through me.  I can move within my studio and my house and yet still maintain this flow.  I begin each day in my studio with this practice, and consciously end the studio time with a small ritual to close off the day.

Slowing down is not something I am good at.  But sometimes our bodies speak with loud voices that require us to pay attention.


  1. My heart continues to do out to you. Two years ago I had a similar flurry of busted parts; trust the healing process, it really is working even though time must seem magnified. You've been a great help to me and I surely do wish you well. xo

  2. Thanks Judy. Yes, trust in the process..good thought, just as I trust in the painting process.

  3. Janice: I'm so sorry to hear that you had to cancel your show - and that these other ailments have appeared. You have such a good spirit about it all, though. Amazing!

    I think I've known 3 or 4 women who have broken their wrists in the last couple of years. Something is amiss. Is it me?

  4. I'm certain it's not you Alyson! For me I'd say it was a reminder to slow down, to learn to ask for help and to learn to accept it. I am filled with gratitude for my family and friends.