Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jan 31, 2010

5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival - started early!!

For full details on this annual honoring of Brigid, please see Anne Hill's Blog o'Gnosis post here.

And here is my offering to her this day, a poem I recently wrote and read at the last Third Thursday reading at Coffee Grounds here in Terre Haute.


today i am here.

i really am.

i am so here....i can barely remember

i feel like i’ve been beamed down - shimmering
molecules reassembled from drifting particles
orbiting around planet grief,
reassembled into this here woman,
with a happy heart dancing
full of cocoa and honey and dreams.

here thirsty is quenched
everything dry
is moisturized

i am hyyyyydrated & lubricated
and i can slide right through
the tightest of liminal space/time doorways
to be transformed each moment
to be present in new ways
to be


and here, here after all
 is my life
my precious sweet sometimes desperate life
that i must love and love and love
no matter what.

love  it.

love it to death.

---Zann Carter (January 2010)

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Birthday memorial 4 - Patrick

24 years ago today, Patrick came into this world...I remember looking at the tiny hairs on the top of his ears and being filled with awe at the miracle of his life coming through us...and just a year before, in that same hospital, I had almost died...his birth made an amazing joyous circle for me, his death another circle, infinitely sad...

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Jan 27, 2010

Why I'd Like to Be in Harlem on Valentine's Day

Three words: Xenobia Bailey's workshop

picture and all about workshop here

Jan 14, 2010


Sending out the Knit-Signal to urge y'all to read Yarn Harlot's blog entry and contribute to relief efforts via Doctors Without Borders.  She has all the necessary links on her page.

If you don't contribute there, I know you'll find another way to do so.
May you and yours find peace. May the people of Haiti find peace.

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Jan 7, 2010

Haramaki, Creativity, Art, Healing


This is my attempt to try out the theory that wearing a haramaki (belly band) keeps you warmer. There's a whole host of reasons to try haramaki and you can read about them here.

I had never heard of haramaki until Terri Bibby mentioned them in a Facebook comment to me.  I googled about and became intrigued with the concept - and hopeful.  One little extra layer to achieve more warmth! I'm all for that.

But alas, I cannot afford to order any of the haramaki I saw online and I didn't feel like waiting to get one or make one.  So I picked up this Noro Kureyon felted piece (too felted, it was originally intended to be one of my Short-Row Wedge Wraps), wrapped it around my waist and wore it about the house for several hours.
I felt warmer.

And the other night, when I had to venture forth in bitter cold to facilitate Lit Night for ArtReach, I decided to further test my makeshift haramaki.

And I felt warmer.  And cosier.

I might try to come up with a better haramaki than felted Kureyon! Though I like the symmetry of using my favorite Japanese yarn for this Japanese concept, and love the asymmetry of the points peeking out from beneath my shirt,

I'm afraid even my devotion to Noro does not make Kureyon bearable for long on bare tummy skin. 

Tutorial for making your own haramaki.
Creativity, Art, Healing
I get an email newsletter called Healthy Aging (not sure just where I signed up for it!) The other day, it featured a link to an article entitled “Creativity Can Keep You Healthy.”  If you know me or have read my blog for awhile, you know that connections between art, creativity, and healing are of huge interest to me.

 I immediately went to read the article, but wound up being very disappointed with it.  Not just because it’s a sound-bite type piece -  sometimes brief and cogent bits of information are very useful.  I was disappointed  because it left out something that I believe is fundamental and promoted a notion that I think is harmful. 

About a third of the 500 or so words reinforced a dichotomy between work and play, under the guise of recommending ‘balance.’  The piece equated work with productivity and creativity with leisure.  It aligned creativity with “fun” and, therefore, work with, well, not fun.   It seemed to limit the definition of creativity to artistic hobbies and endeavors, making creative activities into things to ‘add to your schedule’, activities for which you need to ‘take time,’ to ‘block off some time.’  Now that’s not fun.

It reminded me of the dichotomy I ran into all the time as an unschooling homeschooler, the notion that education and fun are separate. That if you’re having fun, you can’t be learning the Important Stuff.  It’s an idea that’s so ingrained in our culture, that my son Shaun asked to do a standardized test when he was 14 and had been homeschooling for two years, after six years of schoolschooling. 

His reason, “I’m having so much fun, I’m afraid I’m not learning what I’m supposed to learn.”*

My point is that just as we’re learning much of the time, and not only through ‘not fun’ activities, so we can be creative much of the time, even with not-fun tasks - even if it’s just in figuring out how to do the not-fun things with a modicum of cheer and grace. Bringing creativity into more spheres of our lives does mean taking time. But it is taking time within the activities we’re already doing, taking time to bring a bit of creative thought and action into the task. 

And that’s the fundamental I found missing in the article - that creativity (and its health benefits) can be integrated into daily life and doesn’t have to be scheduled like a dentist appointment!

*We went ahead and let him take such a test. And, yes, he did quite well. No surprise to me, reassuring enough to him that he never took another until the college admissions SAT.

As if to make up for my disappointment with the above-mentioned article, yesterday I got word that the new issue of Arts Illiana Spectrum, the quarterly publication of our local arts organization, is out.  In it, there is a nice long feature on Art and Healing.

In addition to a good general overview of the subject, it includes some thoughts from me, as well as others I work with on The Maple Center programs.

And, a bonus for me, one of my poems is published in this issue - I’d forgotten I’d submitted a few for consideration.
It’s published in hard copy, but they also have a link on their site to download it in pdf form:


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Jan 6, 2010

First poem of 2010

 A New Year's Message From My Left Hand Interpreted By My Right

be:  changing woman
      shapeshifting soul wanderer
      wandering solo
      on a dancing ribbon of light.
know: this road is as wide as it needs to be
                  and no more.
         that slow is the speed
                 of the most elegant master.
seek:  the still point
         the Blue Moon of Balance
rest:  a moment in it.
                                carry on.

FIRST: one foot
SECOND: the other

        ----Zann Carter 01.05.10

(Poet's notes: This is my first poem of 2010. I have been working on a healing journal inspired by a book which recommends, among many other interesting things, writing and drawing with the non-dominant hand.My left hand writing is terse, associative, surprising so far.  This poem's heart came from my left hand.  My right hand gave the heart a body.
The book is The Well-Being Journal by Lucia Capacchione. She has also written an entire book on using the non-dominant hand for creative & healing work.)

Jan 2, 2010

Dear 2010

Dear 2010 - I am liking you immensely so far. Starting you off in the presence of my granddaughter Sophia, hugs & laughter & chants silly and serious, with drums and whistles under the auspicious rays of a Blue Moon, was, well, auspicious!

And this morning started with a good weigh-in (my lowest weight since I started working on weight in May 2009), and progressed through numerous cups of delicious teas, an update of my decluttering blog (where you can read more detailed accounts of my Fitness Project), and the very pleasant sensation of feeling that I am making some good decisions and choices about how I want to spend my time.  Looking forward to living fully in you, 2010!
Love, 'Zann

I made but one resolution this year:
" steadfastly hold a vision of my most splendid, wise self yet--breathing freely, striding boldly, dancing joyously, creating wildly!!"

And my word for the year is "Focus."
(Loving words as I do, I may also want to choose one word for the season, month, week or day!!)

I am very excited to be using my new Hundertwasser page-a-day calendar:

and I wish I could remember where I put the two other calendars I bought this year.  I always buy my calendars early and then think I put them in an appropriate place that I'll remember.  And I never can remember.  At least I put the main kitchen calendar behind the 2009 calendar. Why didn't I do that with the moon calendar

or my Sulamith Wulfing Angel Spirits calendar????

Focus.  WHERE did I put them??

Wishing everyone just the finest year to come!