Those of you who follow my social media posts may have picked up a recent one, in which I share that I had been encouraged by a soul healer to allow my left hand to show me a way forward.
I tried writing with my left hand and found it a very interesting exercise. I have continued and it has led me to a fascinating creature - the chameleon. (If you have the patience to read the handwritten words in the accompanying image, you may be quite entertained to see how exactly my left hand led me.)
Credo Mutwa, whose book, Isilwane, could be said to play the role of a kind of left-hand somebody (as distinct from a right-hand man) in my idiosyncratic questings, composed a beautiful praise song to the chameleon.
Praise Song to the Chameleon (extracts)You, of whom warriors of old were afraidAnd you, of whom the men today are also afraidLittle chameleon, what is the secret of your magic?Why do the children of Africa hold you in such dread?Even the bravest will quail at your touchEven the mightiest will shrink from handling youOnly little children, secure in their innocence, dare to hold you in their handsWhat is your story, chameleon?[...]Chameleom, the slow one, unwabu!Chameleon, the beautiful one who changes his coloursChameleon, the symbol of the sanusis, keepers of the hidden wisdomThey taught us in the great huts of grassThey taught us in the caves and in the holes in the groundThey taught us that we should be like chameleons, invisible to our enemiesThey taught us to seek the knowledge of long ago and to see both into the future and into the pastTo see both into the visible world and into the invisible worldJust as you swing your eyes, one looking forward and one looking backwardSo we are taught to be like you[...]
Anne Keating, in her wonderful book, Wild Voices, writes:
You have been taking a good look in the mirror recently and seeing a few of the masks you have been using to camouflage yourself. You realise what a burden they are becoming and are asking yourself WHAT FOR? Why am I keeping up this exhausting camouflage?
When you are drawn to Chameleon it is a very positive and strong sign that you are now determined to face any self-delusion and remove your masks for good.
And this goes even further.
You will show little tolerance for deception in others in any situation. [...] You are looking for the REAL world [...]
Keating, furthermore, gives the key word for chameleon as PRECISION. The focused, carefully deliberated aim, with which chameleon's tongue is able to target and seize its prey, is a reminder not to rush and to allow pure intention to be the leader of your actions.
|Left-handed journal entry, 17th January 2021|
|Detail from the illustration for chameleon in Isilwane by Bowen Boshier.|
|Photo: Silke Heiss|
|Stretching himself to reach another branch. Photo: Silke Heiss|