A Wake Up Call.

February 24, 2024

A Wake Up Call.

May 29, 2023

Chip's editorial comment: Jill is one of the first people I met in Baja more than a dozen years ago as she’d packed up in midlife and moved down as an artist and soon-to-be gallery owner. This experience she writes about is just a reminder that life is precious.

It was a beautiful morning. The week before the winds had howled in a force so rare everything took cover.  My chicken left my property to find shelter somewhere the winds were so fierce. I was relieved this morning to have no wind, sun and beautiful energy flowing.

I had tightly tied down a five by six foot painting into the back of my Toyota Tacoma. A painting called “Heavenly Breeze”, to be shipped to a wonderful older couple with a new home in Palm Desert. I was on the way to the Mailbox Store in San Jose del Cabo. 

I drove slowly on the highway. Careful. Listening to uplifting songs. One called “My Guardian Angel”, that I particularly liked as I love the idea of angels helping. It was a very good day.

I was coming up to a turn in the road about to go up a steep incline. Suddenly there appeared a huge garbage truck driving out of control, speeding down the hill about to turn and run straight into me. It looked unreal. Like from an action movie. Animated. This could not be happening.

There was no time to think. I was sure I was going to die. Or at least mangled if it hit me. Time seemed to stop. A liquid flew over my windshield and side window. I could see nothing. I saw later it was liquid garbage of some sort. White and smelly. I heard the hit and I lost what happened next. I blanked out. Just loud noises.

Shaken, I opened my door and stood out on the highway.

The garbage truck had landed on its side and slid at least 500 feet further down the road, blocking two oncoming lanes. A young kid yelled out the cab, which was smashed next to the guard rail. I waved back, he was so far away I did not dare leave my truck. I later learned he lost his brakes going down the hill. Luckily, he was alive. 

I walked to the back of my truck to check the painting. It seemed undamaged. This was a miracle. I was hit on the side of my truck, it tore off my front bumper, took out my front headlight on the driver’s side, took out my side mirror, hit my driver’s door a few times and then smashed into the back side of my truck throwing the tailgate to the side. My gas tank had been ripped open, cut at the top. A mystery it didn’t land on top of me.

I was so shaken I thought I was having a heart attack.

Wonderful Mexican couples stopped. One asked me if I was okay and said they had called an ambulance and the police. Another couple stopped and got out to hug me. I was moved to tears. My neighbor Jeff and Carlos came. Telling me I was glad to be alive. The brevity of the experience was yet to hit me.

It was a wake-up call. 

It’s time to contemplate how I would like the rest of my life to look. What do I have yet to do? Apparently, I have more to do. I have been here in Todos Santos with my gallery for twenty-five years. I have many dear friends. I have three wonderful children and four grandchildren. I am so grateful for my home, my gardens, my life.

I spoke with my friend Doug West who had a near death experience lighting his water heater on Thanksgiving Day. What changes would he make as a famous New Mexico artist. He spoke of his acceptance of his body and the changes the explosion made to his skin. He said he made a special painting of a rose, a white rose, to signify the new birth. The new life he was given. He spoke of feeling fragile.  

How will this affect our lives and our work?

For me, the biggest change is the desire to hug people and tell them I love them. I want to be purer with my heart’s energy. To slow down and be present with anyone I encounter. To create a space of gratitude for my life, and my body. I walked away with no bodily harm. 

A miracle.

I do feel shattered, energetically hit by the truck’s force, even though it did not hit me directly. I was dizzy for days, having to pull myself back into my body. Like there were parts of me way out there in the ethers. As if my spirit left my body in part due to the shock and feeling of imminent demise.

The reality that life can change in a second is something to contemplate. There was no possibility of dodging it. I was grateful…I am grateful I was not going slower. I am grateful there were no cars next to me. I am grateful to have saved the painting. As the client said, “Of course it was okay, it’s called “Heavenly Breeze”. My shipper came and picked it up, repaired one stretcher bar, and off it went to Palm Desert.

When I spoke with Doug about his experience and the thoughts now in the aftermath, he said he wants to create spirituality as it is tied to nature. An intention of purity, visual clarity with some kind of power behind it. The quiet voice of truth. He also said it was too early to tell what effects the experience will have on him. But knowing it is profound, he created for himself a beautiful painting of a white rose, set against the New Mexico background.  As a healing and representation of his new self.

Like Doug, I am not quite integrated into the meaning of this experience. I anticipate teaching one Saturday a month, to give back all I have learned. To travel more. To get back into yoga and community, lost during Covid. To write more. To create works that touch on the soul’s ascension to another plane. Perhaps for those of us who are more intuitive and empathic, we live with one foot in that plane daily.

Life is a Miracle and a Blessing. Seize the day.

-Jill

Jill Logan is an artist from Southern California who moved to Todos Santos twenty five years ago and opened her own gallery. It’s a beautiful deep red building with tile mosaics. She was in one of MEA’s first beta workshops in early 2018.

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