I love geckos. (Probably pretty obvious given the moniker for my blog.) Even though I have a cat, the gecko is my favorite critter. There is something soothing about the clik-clik-clik they make while I’m sleeping in a thatched bamboo hut on a South-East Asian beach knowing that they are dining on all the pesky mosquitos that might otherwise dine on me. It’s nice coming back to a place being greeted by these little creatures who so unassumedly take care of me.
I always feel lucky whenever I find a gecko or anole in my house.
Once when I was living in Florida, a lizard fell on my head in the shower. I shrieked, but was happy knowing that it was there. Another time in Japan I noticed my cat playing with something (I thought it was a string or a cat-toy). Upon closer examination, it was a gecko. Machan (the cat) had laid into him, biting off his tail. There was blood on the carpet. She just didn’t get that the gecko was a friend — keeping the demon-like spitting mukade (poisonous centipedes) and mosquitos at bay. Luckily I found him in time, gently putting him outside and hoping for his recovery. I kept seeing him around my front door that summer, somewhat battered –but still alive– and I never had one single mukade the entire summer.
If there is such a thing as an animal totem, the gecko (or lizard) is defintely mine. They are said to be intuitive, sensing things that happen around them which may not be readily apparent. They are creatures of change, growth and dreams. What to one person may seem a slithery thing, to me is a sleek and shimmering animal of beauty — agile, knowing and patient (qualities which I don’t necessarily posses, but rather aspire to).
For years I had been drawing little geckos in notebooks without really thinking. I love having anything gecko around me (as long as it’s not Southwest-style kitsch). When I decided to get a tattoo about 10 years ago. I thought about it deeply. Ankh or yin-yang symbol — too common. Japanese kanji (character) — not quite right. Then one day I saw a temporary gecko tattoo and it just felt right. If I was going to get permanently inked, the gecko was it — we ‘cliked’. Now with the gecko permanently affixed to my left shoulder, I know that it is my animal, that if it is at all possible, we are linked in spirit.
I’m not one to have super cutsy things in my house. Although I love designing toys and such, they are usually meant for others. But, just once, I wanted to create one just for me, something that would follow me throughout the day, and my latest amigurumi, Yamorichan, (‘little lizard’ in Japanese) was born. He rests on my handbrake, reminding me (although often unsuccessfully!) to remain patient and aware. Keeping me safe from the blood-sucking LA drivers, bringing me back to the peace and tranquility I found on the beach in a thatched hut.
(Yamorichan Handbrake Cozy)