Meetings with the Stag of the Stubble


White Rabbit is looking quite unlike his usual self these days. Gone are the white jacket and strides. In their place are things most primal, edged with a fine trim of mischief. The Stag in the Stubble is making his presence known and I’m quite intrigued to be honest. I watch him from the safety of my so-called civilised world. He knows of things that I’ve forgotten. Mr Hare, Mr Hare, the wild places of my heart are calling and I want to follow. Dare I step over the threshold? My civilised world is filled with as many dangers and traps in the natural world, or so I’m told. It has to be said that the living are to be feared more than the dead in my experience. He wonders how the conversation has turned to thoughts of the dead. Mere chance I reply, although my alter ego did have a literary brush recently with the great Angel of Death, Azrael. Mr Hare gives me a most peculiar look. Strange woman he mutters. He then proceeds to agree with my comment about the living. What a capricious nature!

“I agree with you on that matter. At least the dead are quite honest about their intentions, unlike the living at times.”

Nice to know we’re talking from the same page. He winces at that comment. On reflection it sounds too much like ‘corporate speak’. Oh, well. Shall we forget I ever made that comment?

Talking of dead ‘things’. Mr Hare gives me a withering look as if to say ‘back on that subject are we?’. Yes we are, but not in the sense of truly dead things but things metaphorically dead. If you get my meaning. My world is currently filled with stalled plans, stalled studies, taking exams, waiting on exam results and a body desperately needing an MOT. Do I sound like I’m moaning? He lifts an eyebrow and tries to hide a smile. Mr Hare shakes his head and gestures behind him. I look a little puzzled and wonder what’s going on. A figure emerges out of his shadow. Another hare. What a surprise! Wonder where the third hare is? Not the right time it seems for the Triad to be in one place, yet. I respect their decision. The second hare then melts into the shadows. I can sense him running through the cornfield and jumping over hedgerows. He leaps and turns in the fields. There’s a wild look in his eyes. They convey the passage of time, the turning of the seasons and old memories. I stand in a strange world, one in which the inner world is at odds with the outer. Convention is stifling my nature and as the cliché goes ‘I’m a round peg trying to fit into a square hole’. Quelle horreur!

Mr Hare scrutinises me intently. He’s aware this was going to come to light eventually. I tell him it feels like I’m standing still, not quite rooted to the spot but ‘waiting’. Anpu did say to be self-aware and not to feed the fear. Mr Hare’s lips curl into a smile. He’s up to something. I ask him if we’re going down another rabbit hole, as my knees are a little painful at the moment. He shakes his head and points to the woodland in the distance. Where did that come from? I roll my eyes. It’s magic and anything can happen in this little adventure. He runs off and stops periodically for me to catch up. We stand at the edge of the wood, the air shimmers briefly and then we step over the threshold.


‘You wanted to follow the call of the wild places of your heart’ he mutters as we stand in the middle of a clearing. I’m wondering if it’ll involve any running, as it could be a problem. He seems to have a skill for reading my thoughts, hope he didn’t hear my previous thought. Oh dear. There seems to be a lot of fly agaric mushrooms in this place. Mr Hare stands to one and just watches me. This place seems far removed from the noise of human activity. All I can hear is birdsong, other unidentifiable noises, and the movement of animals through the wood. There, it sounds like a stream. The wood doesn’t feel oppressive and enclosing. There’s a lightness and great age about it. I realise how shut off I’ve become in my daily life. Only to keep out the noise of other people’s thoughts, erratic and emotional energies. I don’t think I’m the only person in the world to feel like this. Like Mr Hare’s alter ego, White Rabbit, I seem to be constantly racing against time. Time. Perhaps I should step outside of Time and its constraints. Who first measured time and forced us to follow its regimented schedule? ‘The wild places of my heart are calling’. That phrase has journeyed with me throughout life. It’s remained hidden at times and then emerged into the light to remind me to wake up and live. We should all heed the call of our hearts and find the wild places. Gosh. This is turning into one of those art house films filled with existential angst. Mr Hare looks a little surprised at the art house reference. I feel like laughing.

Suddenly the mood changes and we sense the presence of something wondrous and unearthly. They’re coming. The sunlight streaming through the canopy highlights a myriad of golden sparks. We sit down on a fallen tree and wait. It takes me back to an experience I had at a lakeside in Onatrio, Canada many, many years ago. We were camping by a lake in one of the national parks. The sun hadn’t risen yet and there was a mist rolling over the lake. It looked quite beautiful. The only sounds we could hear were the call of moose and coots. The noises didn’t distract from the immensity of the either silence or the sense of being a part of something greater. Great Spirit was truly present in that place and time. I was fully present in that moment. A voice whispers in my ear, ‘find that place within yourself again’. I look up and there they are. All that populates the wild places of my heart. What are they? That would be telling. Mr Hare agrees with me. With finger on my lips I keep it a secret and journey back to the threshold and into the real world. Not bad for a day’s work.

photo credit: Rijmpjes en versjes uit de oude doos j 30 ill pg 21 jan Wiegman via photopin (license)

photo credit: <a href=”″>P2041521 – ‘Hares’ via photopin (license)


3 comments on “Meetings with the Stag of the Stubble

  1. stevetanham says:

    Whimsical, Jan. I enjoyed that journey with the hare – strange creatures!

    Liked by 1 person

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