So my farm-sitting stint was over and I’m staying with some very good friends of mine in Weaverville. The first morning I left the house to start my day…Mr. Rabbit is sitting outside by my car 🙂 Got to love these guys 🙂 The photo was taken after he hopped away from the car…you can see him sitting under the tree.
So it had me thinking….Just how prevalent has the Rabbit Spirit Guide been in my life prior to me actually noticing them as that? I’ve complied a list that dates back to my childhood…so far it’s 18 references…9 of which were at times of major significance and change in my life. So I’ve done the research on what they’ve all represented and what their influence has been growing up. This is going to be a long post, so grab a drink, settle in and enjoy…
“Down The Rabbit Hole” is a metaphor for the conceptual path which is thought to lead to the true nature of reality. An adventure into the “unknown”. Infinitesimally deep and complex, venturing too far down is probably not that great of an idea. The origin of the term is from the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland”…which leads into Wonderland. Over the years, it has also come to refer to taking hallucinogenic drugs which can be considered “tripping” down the rabbit hole, but it is also explored through philosophical and existential thinking. It’s been a popular term with the 2006 movie “What the Bleep!?” and of course in “The Matrix”…
The list is a compilation of movies, stories, songs and commercials that have been in most of our lives. And I’m sure as you read through it, you’ll say to yourself…Oh please, that could have been for anybody. And you’ll be right. The difference for me however is that each of these rabbits or rabbit references played a role in the foundation of who I am today. Some provided me with comfort, some with lessons, some came at times of great change, some represented aspects of my character that not too many people know about. When I started this list, I had no clue just how much of an impact the rabbit had on me my entire life…So I was pleasantly surprised to their presence all these years.
As a child, I’ve always been an avid reader. And one of my favorite stories was the Br’er Rabbit & The Tar Baby. I can still see the illustrations in my mind. This was before I came across the Disney tv version. And as a child of the Caribbean, we also had the African influence and version as Anansi the Spider. And I know there are interpretations referencing it’s racial nature…but the story has been existence in every single country…each with their own version of it. But the one that stuck with me was the story of Br’er Rabbit & The Tar Baby. We are all familiar with the story. Here’s what “stuck” with me over the years… Don’t be full of yourself, you may end up in a sticky dangerous situation as a result. Be smarter than those out to do you harm. Don’t assume the worst of a situation. And most importantly, your interpretation of a situation is just that…YOUR interpretation…and not necessarily the truth of the bigger picture. Br’er Rabbit had projected his fears and insecurities on to Tar Baby, making assumptions, passing judgment and jumping to conclusions that existed only in his mind.
Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit & March Hare
The White Rabbit’s metaphor is the obvious yet unintentional guide for Alice. But what did he mean to me? The White Rabbit was always nervous, anxious and in a hurry. However, he also possessed a level of confidence to stand up to authority. He was also a friend to Alice when she needed help. He’s always been a strong character despite his weaknesses.
The March Hare…well…yeah…he’s crazy 🙂 But he does represent that fun, out of the box perspective on any given situation. He speaks his mind. He calls it as he sees it. Often times people in my life act as though they are in the “right”…not realizing that their actions are equally as “offending” or “uncivilized”.
March Hare: Have some wine.
(Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.)
Alice: I don’t see any wine.
March Hare: There isn’t any.
Alice: Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it.
March Hare: It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited.
March Hare: …Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do; at least – at least I mean what I say — that’s the same thing, you know.
Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! Why, you might just as well say that, ‘I see what I eat’ is the same as ‘I eat what I see’!
March Hare: You might just as well say, that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like”!
Rabbit from Winnie The Pooh. 🙂 This one was a partially surprising glimpse into my character…but made so much sense in hind sight with my Asperger & Empath characteristics. Rabbit believes he is intellectually superior to the other characters…with the exception of Owl: “You and I have brains. The others have fluff.” Rabbit likes to take charge and come up with elaborate plans. He is also an organizer, however, as detailed as his plans are, they often miss key points and go wrong. He likes to include his friends in the planning, but will turn to Owl when there’s “thinking to be done”. While loyal to the friends he knows, Rabbit shows a certain reluctance to welcome newcomers. However, he warms up to all of them in time. Rabbit keeps a garden and does whatever he can to protect it from other animals such as bugs and crows. He gets upset when anyone or anything tries to steal his vegetables or damages his garden. And while I haven’t been much of a gardener, it certainly lends to my draw to using fresh produce in my cooking.
My two most prized books to this day are “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter and “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams. I own a copy of each that I found in an antique bookstore in England. Peter is a rebellious, stubborn rabbit, who knows the difference between right and wrong…but chooses his way despite warnings from those around him. He finds himself in some pretty life threatening situations, but always manages to escape through sheer luck or through the help of others. Lessons: While you may think you know everything…you don’t. While you think you can do it all by yourself, you need the help of others (friends or foes) to get it done. No matter the risk, it’s always worth it to try and go after the prized carrot. And no matter what your day has been like…your mom is always there to keep you safe and tuck you in at night.
The Velveteen Rabbit is about a stuffed rabbit whose goal is to become real through the love of his owner. Despite the temptation to get caught up in the moment of being the “prized” and “favorite”, he keeps his eye on his dream…that of being transformed into a real rabbit. Second lesson…any given situation in life is temporary. One minute, you’re neglected, the next, you’re the favorite, only to turn around and due to an unforeseen event, you’re rejected and despised. It would have been easy to get stuck in the mindset of any one of those situations…but he kept his dream alive and that was his reward in the end.
Thumper from Bambi. The famous Thumper’s Law: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Still, he takes an interest in mentoring the deer. He teaches him how to say a few words and even how to ice skate. He also provides comic relief.
The Tortoise & The Hare. As in several other fables by Aesop, there is a moral ambiguity about the lesson it is teaching. Samuel Croxall has asserted that it is the proverbial ‘the more haste, the worse speed’ or have applied to it the Biblical observation that ‘the race is not to the swift’ (Ecclesiastes 9.11). In Classical times it was not the Tortoise’s plucky conduct in taking on a bully that was emphasized but the Hare’s foolish over-confidence. An old Greek source comments that ‘many people have good natural abilities which are ruined by idleness; on the other hand, sobriety, zeal and perseverance can prevail over indolence. I would hope by now, you’re seeing a co-relation between taking one’s time, not jumping to conclusions, or even being over confident.
Two lessons revolving death. We had two rabbits as kids growing up. However, we were not schooled in the proper husbandry of rabbit care. The female had gotten pregnant and had the kits. We had kept the entire family in the hutch. The male killed all the kits. The mother died a few days later…followed by the male a few months later. I am convinced that the male and female died from depression. They both surely grieved and it still tears my heart thinking back on it. He was jealous of the attention and the new intruders into his territory. He acted out of rage. She mourned the loss of her off spring. He in turn mourned the loss of his mate and his new found loneliness. Huge lesson there, yet consistent with everything else…Don’t act in haste. Love and fear makes you do some unimaginable things. You need the companionship of someone else to make life worthwhile. There is nothing more profound than the connection between a mother and her off spring.
The second involved the death of my cousin, Jason. Jason was one month older than I. We lived in two separate countries, but when we were together, we were inseparable. We were twin souls. Jason passed away from brain cancer several years ago. One of his favorite stories was the 1978 movie Watership Down by Richard Adams. I knew nothing of this story till Jason’s passing. I’m usually pretty good about being unemotional when it comes to death and transitioning. Jason was the first, to my recollection, that I truly cried and poured my heart out uncontrollably over. (Punkin was the second). I’m tearing up even now as I type this. So when he died, I sought out the movie and adopted the lessons as my own. What also sealed the deal on this…was the name of the production company : Nepenthe Productions. Nepenthe being my beloved Punkin and my remover of sorrow.
Some fun ones 🙂 Also, if you haven’t noticed by now…I am a huge animation fan.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit. While Roger certainly represents my naivety and belief that everyone has good intentions…it was his wife that I felt more kinship with. Jessica Rabbit! I did a drawing of her when the movie came out and had it posted on my wall for several years. Jessica represented that sexy, sultry side of me. Even to this day, when I allow her to poke her head out from my shell, my idea of that sexy dress is the high slit, low back and cleavage showing. It’s the dress I feel most confident in despite my “shyness”. And she’s just that…quiet yet confident, seductively in control of those around her yet loyal to the one she’s given her heart to. As she says “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”
I have to throw in this photo of me just for fun 🙂
Three commercials that I still quote today: Nesquick Bunny’s original jingle. Trix Rabbit “Silly rabbit, trix are for kids”. And the infamous Duracell vs Energizer Bunny.
One of my favorite pieces of jewelry was a pair of Playboy earrings. Despite the sexual nature of the image…it was more representative of the rebellious side in me.
I’ve already mentioned the movies “What the Bleep!?” and “The Matrix”. Both extremely life changing movies for me, as they both confirmed what I already knew…but life changing because it meant I wasn’t alone in my thinking and a shift was happening. Another such movie was “The Last Mimzy”. What was really cool about rediscovering this one, was the introduction of the Sri Yantra into my peripheral reality.
The Last Mimzy is a story about the clash between humanity’s best and worst instincts, and how a child’s innocence can win the day. The movie dives into topics like empathy, psionic abilities, telepathy, telekinesis, levitation, ecotherapy, the importance of relationships to build bridges or the importance of utilizing the strengths of each player to create a better future, the power of believing in yourself despite the intentions of those in “superior” positions.
Finally…my recent all time favorite song by Kes the Band: Stress Away…which I’ve posted in this blog before. But an unlikely indirect connection came from my all time favorite group and song: Abba: Thank You For The Music… And while I never saw this performance till much later in life…the song was originally featured on their fifth album Abba: The Album (1977)…my birth year! Notice anything? 😉
You’ll note that I did not mention Bugs Bunny :). While Bugs has been there as a child…I’ve always felt closer to Buster & Babs Bunny.
There you have it. You’ve travelled down the rabbit hole with me. Because I’m more intune with their presence, they’re showing up in more obvious ways on a daily basis. The most recent…I had met some friends for lunch in Weaverville. I brought them up to speed on the journey I had been experiencing. When we parted ways, I stopped at a farmer’s stand to get some fruit for supper. At the entrance were rows and rows of wooden rabbits. I had all intentions of getting one as a memento, but at the last minute, my inner voice was saying wait, I will get one later. Within two minutes of leaving the stand, my friend called and said she had something for me. I told her it would be funny if it was a rabbit and I shared the thought I had just a few minutes earlier. She said it wasn’t a sculpture but a sign. It’s not the form it takes, it’s the intention.