Sometimes life can be a bit…odd, to say the least.
I have this art box, which pretty much looks like a plastic tool box for art supplies, that I’ve keep since the 90s. It’s stuffed with all sorts of things, pens, erasers, pencils, exacto blades, glue, watercolors, pretty much all the stuff I’ve experimented with over the years. So today I went rummaging around in it looking for some watercolor pencils I knew I had buried in this eclectic mess when I came upon this rock, which clearly looks like it has a pictogram of a rabbit on it. Obvious at some point in my life I either got this rock for some reason or someone gave it to me. I just can’t remember from where or from whom but I suspect it either came into my possession from one of the pow pows I’ve attended throughout the years or from that little Native American shop in South Bend I used to frequent some time ago. Either way I find it rather peculiar that I would find this little thing at a time when I’m just now getting over my issue of being creeped out by rabbits. To cause my eyebrow to raise a bit more, just last night I was researching black American folktales, when I got to reading about Br’er Rabbit and now here, I find a rabbit in my art box. Is this a sign? I have this saying that if something happens once or twice, it’s a coincidence. If it happens three or more times, you need to stop and pay attention.
I’ve now given the rock a permanent place in my Sacred Space. 😊
I got through this without having nightmares. I was going for cute and adorable but it feels more…buggy and the longer I stare at it I end up giggling. I guess that’s a good thing since I started this drawing feeling a bit apprehensive. I still have yet to brave another viewing of Watership Down and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it. I’ve watched a few short clips that I found on YouTube and still I get that tugging in my gut and creepy sensation throughout my body. So I don’t think it will be anytime soon that I’ll be watching that again. But at least I made it through this drawing and that’s good. Although I’m not “cured” I don’t feel as weirded out by the little creatures. Oddly enough I’m now seeing figures of rabbits in my bathroom wallpaper. Hope that’s not a sign of psychosis. 😶
Anyhoo, to further help me along I’ve decided to integrate the rabbit into my inner pool of spirit animals along with the wolf, hawk, fox and cat, to symbolize acute awareness, keen sensitivity, quickness and wit. Since doing this I’ve become aware of an underlying sense of uncomfortableness I feel towards rabbits and that is that it’s a prey animal. When I initially think of rabbits innocence and helplessness are the first things that come to mind. Yet rabbits wouldn’t have been able to survive if they are the helpless prey as I imagine them to be. There is more to rabbits than meets the eye. Maybe in my internal psyche the rabbit forces me to confront my own feelings towards helplessness or more precisely, powerlessness, while directing my attention to realize that being strong and powerful isn’t the only mode to operate in to get along well in life. There are many creatures that live that aren’t big, powerful, strong and fierce and they survive and thrive. The symbol of the rabbit might be a good addition to balance out my psyche that is deeply influenced by this notion that in order to survive one needs to always be powerful, strong and unflinching.
Rabbits creep me out. There I said it. I know, how can anyone be creeped out by cute and fuzzy little creatures that do nothing but hop around and eat vegetation all day. It seems a little silly to be the age that I am and still get this sinking feeling in my gut when I see rabbits. I wish that I could say that it’s something irrational and unfounded and that I should just get over it and get on with my life but I really do have a good explanation and it can be summed up with two words…Watership Down.
If you were a child of the 80s or earlier, you may remember Watership Down, an animated movie based of the novel of the same name by Richard Adams. I was about 9 when I saw the movie for the first and only time in my life. At that age I really wasn’t keen on understanding allegory and metaphors, so I can’t say I understood what the movie was about. All I knew was that it was animated and animation was for kids, right? So to my child mind things like themes and abstract ideas weren’t evident to me but what did stick out and has stayed with me since are the images of blood stained fields, claws, teeth, scars, foaming mouths and death. It was horrific to watch as a child. I remember nothing else and I haven’t been the same since. That change became evident to me a few years later when my mother took me on my first and only hunting trip. Up until that point I had proved I was good at fishing, so it was time to progress. Being the daughter of a frontiers woman, this would have been a rite of passage for me. So my mother took me hunting for small game with a sling shot. I knew before hand that it would be rabbits. My immediate internal reaction was visceral. I never had any qualms about anything else but this, this disturbed me but I kept my feelings to myself. I figured I would get over it once I was in the thick of it all but all my wits failed me at the moment of truth. There I was with my mother at my side, sling shot drawn, watching an unsuspecting rabbit nibbling on vegetation. I felt a mix of tenderness and disgust. The image of blood stained rabbits flashed across my mind. I turned to my mother and said “I can’t do this. Can we go fishing instead?” She quietly nodded as I handed her the sling shot. I wouldn’t become a hunter that day and I was quite relieved. My mother never showed any disappointment but from then on I stayed home or at camp whenever we needed to stock up on something more than salmon and seafood. Maybe if I had never seen Watership Down things would have went differently. Can’t say that would have been a good thing or not. What I can say is that I’m still deeply effected by that movie so I’m drawing rabbits to help me work through it. Maybe I’ll get brave and watch the movie again or read the book. Who knows, maybe I’ll come away with a more inspiring impression. 😊