Happy Year of the Water Rabbit, on the Chinese lunar calendar!
This morning, I finished my first art of the year, “Rabbit and Moon” (working title; I may change it).
It’s about 9 x 12 inches, on paper, mixed media – watercolor, graphite, and ink. The asemic writing in the upper right corner is actually my real, gloriously illegible handwriting, turned on its end. This time I’m quoting Robert Frost, a line from “Mending Wall” (1914):
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding
to please the yelping dogs
In the verse containing that line, Frost talks about going out in spring with his neighbor to repair the damage that happens to their boundary wall over the winter, including the vandalism of hunters who knock down the stones to flush out their prey, because “they would have the rabbit out of hiding.” (Click here for the full text, off-site.)
That poem also gives us the famous line, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Frost’s neighbor repeats that saying, and the poet Frost wonders why good neighbors need fences at all. Shouldn’t they be able to rely on their mutual understanding?
Myself, I’m a little on the fence about that (har-har), but I do appreciate that, even though Frost might not like the barrier between people, by mending the wall, he’s evening the odds for the rabbits.
Jumping back from West to East, Chinese astrology says that the Water Rabbit brings in peaceful, patient, and creative energies and encourages us to rely on our inner wisdom and trust our instincts. We should approach this year’s challenges calmly and rationally, and be kind and considerate to each other and to ourselves.
Water Rabbit Year 2023 could turn out to be all about good neighbors – having them and being them. Just remember that the barriers that delineate our personal boundaries are best when everyone finds safety in them – us and the rabbits.