Lizards in the Leaves

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

Dec 29, 2013

Year-End Review

2013 has been a weird, floaty year for me.

 I find myself reluctant, unable even,  to engage in one of those written year-end reviews that so many people find a prerequisite to creating intentions for the new year.

 I know that it's useful and have done it before, but it's not happening for me.  What I am drawn to do is read my 2013 journals.

 Have printed out all 37,000+ words (78 pages in size 10 font) of my "Personal Journal" file in MacJournal, as well as the file I call "PoetryNotes."  The latter is 119 pages, but only 18,000+ words.

That's because the entries look like this:


September 18, 2013 8:41 AM

grief-bringers and the grief-stricken

suspicious epiphanies



My poetry notes are meandering word-association rivers.  Lots of white space to float in, rearrange themselves, make startling marriages.  This journal is the point of conception for almost all my poetry.

Perhaps in reading the private & poetic records of my year,  I will be able to grasp the essence of it.

)O(  bright blessings

Dec 25, 2013

gift - a story from my muse

A woman hangs laundry on a rope strung between two oak trees.

 A bee keeps alighting near her right hand. It flies off, circles around, and returns to land near her hand again and again and again. She becomes convinced the bee is trying to get her attention, wants her to follow him.  She is so convinced, she leaves her basket of wet laundry and follows the bee.

He flies into the woods. Sometimes he flies far ahead and alights on a branch or bush to wait for her to catch up.

There is determination, a low level of urgency. Finally, they arrive at a very tall tree.
Bees are everywhere here, the air shimmers with wings and work, centered around a hole in the tree, very high up.

And now, there is a small man - a dwarf or gnome, looking  just as dwarves and gnomes do in fairy tales: soft red pointy cap, sturdy leather boots, hairy-faced.  He scales the tree like an acrobat, sticks his hand into the hole and pulls out a chunk of comb, leaking honey.

Quite suddenly (she didn’t see him climb down) he is in front of her, thrusting the dripping comb at her.

“Eat!” he says, “Eat!”

She  eats, her cheeks and mouth and hands turning golden and sticky. The sweetness of the heart of the world enters her own heart. The warmth of many suns pulses in her belly. And her eyes are the centers of a thousand flowers.

Bees braid her hair, streak it with pollen, make a tiara of their dancing bodies. Their thrumming hums make words and the words promise stories and poems to last her whole life. Here is the first:

Leave the laundry.
 Follow the bee.
Listen to the dwarf. Eat
 the honey.


Last December,  I chose my Word of the Year for 2013. * I chose "honey."

And I thought it was surely the right word for me because honey and bees are so resonant for me as symbols. Literally, I consider honey a kind of sacrament. I put it on my oatmeal in a spiral and I take a tiny bit in my mouth and spend a conscious moment with its sweetness, with flower and sun and bee-mystery.

And the Bee Goddess rosary above found its way to me right at the time I settled on "honey."  It seemed   synchronous manifestation. Lunaea's magical crafting connected to my Word.
 Perfection, benediction.

But all year long, my choice of word was a mystery to me. I could not understand "honey" as a directive for my work and thought for this year.  But I didn't choose another word.  I accepted the mystery, even as I daily gazed at and held the rosary that hangs on the wall by my desk. Even as I held myself open for revelation.

It has been an odd year, I think. Nothing like the amazing year when I chose "focus." My accomplishments are more subtle, less public. I'm still not sure what they are.

Last night I asked the Muse for inspiration, a word, a thought, something to write about today.  And she gave me these images:  a woman hanging laundry, leaving it to follow a bee, the hollow tree and the dwarf with a fistful of honeycomb.

And as I wrote it down, as more details came, it was not until the very last line that I realized that it's a bit of enlightenment about the mystery I lived with all year. 

And I am grateful.

* I began doing this years ago, after encountering the idea through Ali Edwards' site. This is a link to her One Little Word 2014 workshop.


For a couple of weeks, I've been pondering my Word for 2014. This year I am feeling strongly that my Word is to be kept private. My Tarot Year Card is The Hermit, so I am taking the strong feeling seriously.

This, by the way, is my 500th post to this blog.  That feels important to me.  I began this in late summer 2005, just months before my son Patrick died and I began the journey of the greatest grief. At the same time, I was falling down the rabbit hole of my mother's journey with Alzheimer's, and her death just two years later. 

Lizards in the Leaves has been my solace, my outlet, a way of connecting with some marvelous creative people, with bereaved people, with my own self.  I've neglected this space in the last few years, probably because of the immediacy of Facebook, the gratification of feedback there.

But  I'd like to change that, I think, and pay a little more attention to this space. I still subscribe to the Blogging Without Obligation tenets (click on the B.W.O. button in the sidebar to see them), but I think I am going to reframe them for myself into a Blogging With Joy manifesto. 

On this day, may the Divine bless us, every one - Namaste.

Dec 24, 2013

Fresh Scarf

[Well, it was fresh a few weeks ago when I wrote this. Had a callback on a mammogram and could not get an appointment for 8 days after. I spent the whole of Thanksgiving weekend + 4 more days in a dreadful, apprehensive mode of waiting.  This scarf was made over that weekend. The picture is me, not-knowing, hoping-for-the-best, fearing-the-worst and trying to be brave. Ultimately, it was best and all is well. I wore the scarf to go to the callback exam.]


Fresh scarf.
Started Saturday, finished today.
Called “Bundle of Nerves.”

Three kinds of cotton-rich wildly colored Noro yarn, held double and knit first in long short-rows of garter stitch, some with a multi-colored strand of banana silk woven through the stitches, then in shorter rows like jangly nerves turning again and again, changing yarns every other row or so, not knowing what stitch song to sing: first  seed, then short-row wedges, then just garter, garter, garter in one unchanging moment at the end. For a long while, it wanted to stop all the craziness, to unravel itself and cease to keep trying to exist. It thought it was ugly and unpleasant. Then it wanted to button itself up, sport mismatched buttons from the vintage stash, wanted to fold in on itself, wanted to comfort itself, and then looked at itself and saw its raw, unplanned, freeform beauty but damn….there’s all these loose dangly ends sizzling, sparking in the waiting space...

Noro Komoro (2 colorways), Taiyo Sock Yarn, multi-colored banana silk
#11 needles - CO 78 stitches for long section, all yarn held double