Write Into Life

An old dragon in the year of the dog

Japanese New Year card by Isshu Fujiwara: Year of the Dog 2018

So, the Year of the Dog is underway now, and so is my next year of life. Last Saturday I had a bunch of super-special friends here for a party, knowing that at my age, every birthday is a gift, a stroke of luck, and should be celebrated to the hilt.

I checked my prospects for 2018 in a desultory way. I’ve thinking about messages for those born in a Year of the Dragon — in my case, 1940.  Let me quote a couple of sources at random. I have no idea whether they have any authority and that doesn’t matter: they are starters for fruitful contemplation.

It is advisable that anyone born in the year of the dragon wears either a red  string around his waist or wears red underwear or red socks all year for protections from any challenges the dog may want to throw his way.

Low profile is the name of the game for the Dragon this year. Undoubtedly the Dragon is a well-­respected character and one to always be ahead of the field but everyone deserves some time off and 2018 is an ideal time to do so.

It will be a wise Dragon who rests on his laurels and even takes a sabbatical this year. (Daily Mail)

Dragons are advised to exercise extreme caution this year. And also restraint. Do not retaliate, not yet. Tolerance is key. Even endurance. What you endure this year can be a harvest. (Kiss925)

Does this astrological advice make sense for me in 2018?

Well, yes, sort of. I’ve had a tough couple of years with stuff comin’ at me, and now would be a great time to step back and take it easy. Thank you, Dog.

A sabbatical? Sure! In the good old days when academics had sabbaticals as of right, the word meant taking time off from their job every seventh year to refresh and renew and research and write.

As I’ve just completed my 77th year, the timing is perfect.

Not sure about the red string.

The New Year card is by my friend Isshu Fujiwara, and features the aptly named terrier, Joy. This is her year and she is extra joyful.