Consider the Lizard (Bird 6:28)

This title was ‘adapted’ from Matthew 6:28.

“What is a lizard?
Lizards are part of a group of animals known as reptiles. They are most closely related to snakes. In fact, some lizards, called sheltopusiks, look like snakes because they have no legs! Many lizards today resemble the ancient reptiles of the dinosaur era. Their ancestors appeared on Earth over 200 million years ago.

In general, lizards have a small head, short neck, and long body and tail. Unlike snakes, most lizards have moveable eyelids. There are currently over 4,675 lizard species, including iguanas, chameleons, geckos, Gila monsters, monitors, and skinks.” Taken from the San Diego Zoo site.

See more at: http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/lizard#sthash.uyqKlMK1.dpuf

The lizard I am most familiar with is the chameleon. This is the lizard I grew up with in southwest Alabama. Chameleons are fascinating creatures. The primary reason for this is that they change colors depending on where they are stationed. It appears to me that they largely come in bright green and a dull brownish hue, but I am somewhat color blind in distinguishing these tints, so don’t take it form me.

I took my daily walk at midday and just returned a few minutes ago. As I had just turned from one street down a nearby cul-de-sac, I spotted this chameleon, his skin darkened from hurrying along the pavement, dart into some thick grass along the right-of-way.

The first thing that popped into my mind were the words, consider the lizard. That’s what prompted me to write this blog. So here I sit.

Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison, was known as ‘The Lizard King’.

“Jim Morrison wrote a poem called “The Celebration of the Lizard” that first apeared on the sleve of The Doors’ album “Waiting For The Sun.” The poem contained the line: “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything.” Fans thought Morrison was refering to himself instead of another persona Morrison created as the fictional author. The nickname stuck, and, later, the band added music and the poem was performed several times live.” This info was taken from the ‘Fun Trivia’ site.

Now back to the chameleon. “The Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is an arboreal lizard found primarily in the southeastern United States and some Caribbean islands. Other common names include the green anole, American anole and red-throated anole. It is also sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green (though it is not a chameleon).”
Wikipedia

How about that! This blog is both fun and educational!

We used to catch these lizards and ask them to “show us your money bag!” The reptile would soon produce a red, almost dime-shaped sac from under it’s neck. I was told this was an instinctual defense-like mechanism which appeared when the lizard felt threatened.

So those rascals are actually ‘red-throated anoles.’ Sounds like a bird to me.

Our dogs, particularly Layla (the female of our Bichon Frise trio), love to hunt and chase lizards. Red-throated anoles love hanging around our back door, deck and air-conditioning unit. In the warm months Layla cannot wait to go outside in search of the ‘chameleons’.

The dogs also love to chase each other and play ‘king of the mountain’ on our bed. This is called the ‘Bichon Blitz’ or ‘Bichon Buzz’. They will also race around the the kitchen, down the short hallway and around the den, barking and biting and slipping all over the faux hardwood floors. This is very entertaining.

Layla’s middle name is Lucinda. Layla is for obvious reasons if you are a music fan and know the popular Derek and the Dominos tune. Lucinda is for Lucinda Williams, who I think is one of the greatest singer-songwriters out there today, male or female. Her album ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ is an absolutely brilliant piece of work.

Layla’s brother/litter-mate is Lesh Zappa. Phil Lesh is the bassist of the Grateful Dead. Need I explain Zappa? I didn’t think so. Lesh is a very sweet little dog who loves other animals and children. But Lesh is also cursed with bladder stones an a pinched nerve so he often keeps his distance from people. His nickname is Ed.

Then there is Hunter. Hunter’s name comes from my favorite author, Hunter S. Thompson and Robert Hunter, the primary lyricist of many Grateful Dead songs. Hunter’s middle name is Garcia. Need I explain Garcia? I didn’t think so. Hunter (10) is two years younger than Lesh and Layla and is, basically, a spoiled rotten scoundrel. He whines and barks for dinner. He whines and barks for his bone/chicken rawhide stick, which is dessert. And he whines if you stop petting him. Hunter usually wins the ‘king of the mountain’ game.

Melodye with an ‘e’, Miss LeCroy, Paul, or whichever moniker you choose, LOVES HER BABIES. If you don’t like her babies, then she, probably, is not going to like you. She bathes them, trims their faces, doctors their ears and brushes their teeth. She really dotes on those little, white, furry rascals.

These puppies are not our first Bichons. We had our first one from 1990-2003. He name was Misie. Misie was given to us by Harold and Emma when we lived in Sumner County, TN. I can’t remember Harold and Emma’s last name, but they were an older couple who simply could not keep up with Misie’s energy. She had energy in spades.

Harold and Emma let Misie go potty on their deck which was covered in astroturf (I HATE astroturf AND the designated hitter but that is another story). They did not let her out into the yard without a leash.

The day I brought Misie home, as a surprise to the family, I thought she would be fine running around the huge yard which surrounded the double wide, wooden modular home we rented on Cecil Keesling’s cattle and tobacco farm.

WRONG! When I took Misie out for her first potty, she took off like a rocket all over the yard. I began to chase her. She thought it was a game. She soon darted into the adjoining pasture where we played chase for forty-five minutes. She would occasionally stop, put her head in her front paws, with her behind in the air, and wait until I got very near to her. She would then ‘buzz’ or ‘blitz’ for a short while and then… repeat… for 45 minutes.

Somehow, I finally caught Misie and brought her back to the farmhouse. She was covered in dirt, grass and cow poop. She then received her first bath, at 1025 Brinkley Branch Rd., from daddy.

Melodye thought this was one of the funniest things she had ever seen. I did not agree, at the time, but we laugh at the thought of it to this day.

Unfortunately, Misie became riddled with tumors and we had to put her down in May of 2003. This was a horrible day. I gave her her final ride to Dr. White’s office where we met Mel. I petted her the entire way and was able to share my love for her, just us two. It brings me to tears at the thought of it, even to this day.

Here is a poem I wrote for our sweet Misie:

Misie

Pure Energy, love, innocence
Haha Haha Hahahahaha… panting
Bouncing
Begging
Sweet and naughty (DO NOT EAT THAT CHOCOLATE FOOTBALL!!!)
Cheese?
Treat?
Go Outside?
From Harold and Emma’s to
Dr. White…
And LIGHT,
Loved all and all loved you.
I’d give anything to hear
Just ONE more…BEEP…
There will never be another you
Misie
Good-bye
We miss you.

None of us are going to live forever. Cherish those you love and tell them you love them. Also do this, “Unto the least of these.”

And… AND

Consider the lizard.

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Winter Words Vol.5/ “Grateful” for Sunshine

The sun has shone brightly all day. The car wash was packed. People seemed a little happier and peppier today. It’s only 40 degrees now and it ‘feels like’ 35 but you would think it’s 60 degrees judging by people’s attitudes. It’s actually a little bit unseasonably cold. The average high in the ATL area for February is 57 with an average low of 38. Perception vs. reality huh? Amazing what a little sunshine can do.

One of my all-time favorite song is George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes the Sun’. “…Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces, little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…”

And the music itself in the song. It just makes you smile. It moves you to want to dance.

Me and Paul were at a Further concert at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) in Saratoga Springs, NY back in the summer of 2011. I was working that area, along with Lake George, NY, and the opportunity availed itself. The band Further includes two core members of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.

If you’ve never been to a Dead show, or one of the many incarnations that the surviving members formed, Weir’s Ratdog and Phil Lesh and Friends would be the most recognizable, then you’ve missed something special. The band members casually stroll out on stage when they’re good and ready to little or no fanfare. The they will tune their instruments for what seems like an eternity.

During the tuning process the various notes being tinkered with will eventually form what sounds to be fragments of a song. Eventually the sounds WILL develop into a song and the crowd will, usually and simultaneously, recognize the song. There will be a huge roar and then everyone will begin to dance like mad, spinning, twirling, swaying, bouncing and hopping in a free form manner.

Well, on that night back in June, four years ago, the tuning and jamming turned into ‘Here Comes The Sun’. I think the entire crowd was quite surprised, I know me and my Grateful Dead Granny were. The smiles on the faces of all in the crowd were worth the whole concert experience, and it was a very good show.

Here is an excerpt from a fitting article in Americana – The Journal Of American Popular Culture.

“The Answer To The Atom Bomb: Rhetoric, Identification, and the Grateful Dead”

“In The Hero’s Journey , mythologist Joseph Campbell claims that ‘the Grateful Dead are the best answer today to the atom bomb’ because ‘The atom bomb is separating us and this music is calling up the common humanity’. Campbell first articulated this belief about the psychedelic rock band from San Francisco after attending one of their concerts in 1986 in Oakland, CA. where he witnessed what he refers to as ‘one incredible Dionysian ritual,’ ‘a dance revelation,’ and ‘magic for the future’. As Campbell explains, ‘They hit a level of humanity that makes everybody at one with each other. It doesn’t matter about this race thing, this age thing, I mean, everything else dropped out… It was just the experience of the identity of everybody with everybody else. I was carried away in rapture. And so I am a Deadhead now.”

Amen brother Campbell. You NAILED it! There is NOTHING like a Grateful Dead show! It is a transcendent experience. Everyone is one with their fellow human beings. It is tangible. It is church. And the sacraments aren’t bad either. 😉

Music was the only church me and Paul had for many years. The joy and fellowship we have experienced is immeasurable and the friends we have made, at concerts and festivals, are priceless.

The SPIRIT is the SPIRIT wherever it manifests itself. God/Goddess is everywhere, in everything, in everyone. Where love exists, God exists. God is love.

I’ll close with a line form the Dead song, Scarlett Begonias. “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

Amen?

So tonight, why not cue up Scarlett Begonias and dance like nobody’s looking.

Peace and love.