As well as miniature gardens, there is a long tradition of mudman figurines in China, made by hand from mud or clay. The fisherman is a popular figure, usually with a hat, a pot and a ceramic fish on the end of a line.
The Fisherman sees into the distance and holds his rod gently.
On his back is a hat to shield him when the sun or rain is too intense, but no heavy bag of pain and sorrow which would bow him to earth and cloud his vision. The hat hangs lightly from his shoulders, and the small pot at his feet will hold what is necessary.
Sometimes the river runs dark with grief and the fish is hard to see. It is the river of life and has many moods, sometimes full of mud and silt, sometimes turbulent, sometimes serene. It floods and rages, or dwindles to a small stream in the sand, but the well at the world’s end never runs dry.
The fish dances in the water. It sees the hook and is caught. Then it is gone again, flashing its tail and hiding in the shadows. It is never caught for long, but the fisherman knows its ways, knows its value, and knows that what he must do now is sit and fish.
One day he may cease to be a fisherman.
One day he may just laugh with the fish.