Lizards in the Leaves

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

Oct 19, 2014

Michael Carter, RIP

My younger brother died last month.

 I had the immense grace of being with him and my sister as he breathed his last, gentle breaths.

Now, we are two where once we were five.

Michael Channing Carter 1954-2014

Michael (already disabled with a back injury and poor, with no insurance) suffered tremendously for 15 months, beginning with abdominal surgery, septic shock, coma and major stroke in ICU. He survived all that only to encounter one health crisis after another in the months that followed. In the middle he had cancer, too.  He could not walk, nor could he speak or write because of the stroke. He went through radiation, chemo, more surgery and was declared cancer-free. He was an optimist and full of hope, seeming to come back from every setback with new determination to recover a meaningful quality of life.

On his 6oth birthday, after another surgery, he was told that his tissues were dying, that there was nothing more to be done. He entered palliative care and hospice. They asked if he was afraid of death. He said no. They asked him if he was afraid of pain and the process. He said yes. They told him they could help with that. And they did.

We were able to access a music channel that had peaceful, calming instrumentals, Celtic, New that vein. It played the entire time.  This, Pacific II by William Ackerman, was playing during those final moments six days later, pure serendipity. A song from one of my favorite albums. It wasn't until I listened to it again later that I realized how uncannily it mirrored those last breaths and long pauses.

So I am once again deeply grieving, wrestling with that question that comes up for me again and again: how do we accept the suffering of those whom we love?

I am sad and unmoored right now. But carrying on.

Blessed be. Namaste. Love, love, love.

Oct 16, 2014

Popping over say I still exist. Life and travel started happening for me back in July and my blog languished.

Since I last wrote I made an amazing trip to the east coast. A trip that had trips-within-the-trip. Ostensibly I was making a visit to see my son Ian in Boston. As planning progressed, I wound up with the following additional journeys:
5 days in Manchester, NH for the Crochet Guild of America annual conference.
2 days in Northampton, MA for a visit with friends from my bookseller days, a poetry reading and WEBS
2 days in Holliston, MA for a visit with my friend Kate at her gorgeous shop Kamala, where I participated in a SoulCollage workshop and two lovely women's circles.

In between all those visits, I had lazy days with my son where we just hung out together at his house. Knitting, binge-watching Netflix shows, getting to know my furry grandchildren, Moochie & Pixie.

I got to see the ocean for the first time since I moved to Indiana from Florida two decades ago. I also challenged my travel-phobia by taking a bus back and forth to Northampton by myself and negotiating the T back in in Boston on my return.

It took me a long while to fully return to Terre Haute. It was as though my body arrived back home one day and my spirit arrived many days later. Very odd feeling that was!

I got busy on some new goals. I've decided I'd like to be a better teacher and develop some interesting workshops and that I need to become more confident in my teaching.  To that end, I made plans with Martha at RiverWools to teach three classes in the next few months.

My first class is based on a simple short-row shrug I've designed. I'm calling it "Wedgies!" and will teach a little 'wedge theory' so that, hopefully, students might design their own short-row wedge garments.

I've had a lot of fun working on my materials and presentation and as I worked, my original EZ-PZ Short-Row Shrug became a little more polished and is now called 'Popover.'  I will give students both patterns, I think.

Some pictures of the shrug done in Noro, but it also works up nicely as a solid as well, though not quite so dramatically patterned and colorful!