Have you seen a chameleon in real life?

Thinking about 2023, I'm pondering improvements to my life and those around me. Hmmm.

Changes would be required. And, change is hard. Isn't that what we believe: Change is hard?

Then, I thought of a chameleon I met at the Cleveland Botanic Garden a few years back.

Photo credits for all photos: Jane M. Mason.
Photo credits for all photos: Jane M. Mason.

He changed so quickly, I couldn’t take photos fast enough to capture the transformations. He was so much more green and teal in the beginning, and then instantly, as the zoologist handling the reptile changed his position, there was barely any green and suddenly a brilliant orange appeared.


Then again, instantly, a different array of patterns and colors overtook him as he raced down a schefflera to disappear.


How easily he accomplished change.

How seamlessly he went from green to orange.

I assumed chameleons changed colors based on the background, but apparently, that is a myth:

Each species is capable of undergoing a particular range of colour change. .... These cells are under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Colour change is determined by such environmental factors as light and temperature as well as by emotions—such as fright and those associated with victory or defeat in battle with another chameleon. Many chameleons can assume a green, yellow, cream, or dark brown coloration.

Some of the most striking colours appear in males during mating. Some achieve colour patterns that are so vivid and complex that it is hard to imagine that they serve any natural purpose. It is a popular misconception that the chameleon changes its colour to match that of the background.

Vitt, Laurie. "Chameleon". Encyclopedia Britannica, 9 September 2022.

When we repeat “change is hard,” are we simply putting impediments in our own way?

Why not start off this new year with “change is exciting,” or “change is growth and growth is invigorating.” Or, “change unlocks new relationships and new knowledge.”


Can we re-frame “change” to affect how we approach whatever 2023 brings?

I anticipate big changes in 2023, even though I feel fortunate for many of the things that happened in 2022. I spent more time with my family than in the previous couple years. More importantly perhaps—I appreciated every minute of it. As a result of Covid, I realized how precious it is to actually spend time in person with family and friends.

I was grateful for my relationships with people help extend my gifts to a broader circle. I am grateful to my team who handles my website and gets me straightened out in all things e-commerce related, R + R Creative Co., in Colorado.

I’m grateful for my textile groups, my art guilds, and the professional organizations I belong to. So much expertise, encouragement, and creative stimulation. It's a blessing to feel a part of a community.

I am SO grateful for my students, current and former, and for my customers who support me through their purchases or feedback,

I love teaching and I have spent more hours actually teaching this year than ever before. To me that is a huge win.

So, what’s ahead? More research into my favorite artists. (I hear you calling my name, John Singer Sargent.) More creating art in my own voice while using more atypical materials and injecting more passion in my work. More teaching in new formats as well as the familiar formats: through TakeLessons, via Zoom classes, in-person workshops, and YouTube videos.

I’m going to take more time in 2023 to veg out, staring into forests, prairies, and sand dunes while just observing. I’m going to take more time to dance with my grandkids. More time, as a dear friend of mine, Ingrid, says, to “walk off the map.” This means to explore new places that are beyond the confines of a map. (What IS around the next corner?)

What about you? What are your plans for a happy, healthy, inspiring 2023?

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