dragons-eyeContrary to popular belief, dragons don’t lay siege to castles, steal and ravish young maidens, scorch brave knights with our fire or eat our young ( or anyone else’s for that matter!) Mostly we it in our caves and talk. We chat with each other. We talk with our visitors. We listen. People come and find us. We try and say things that might be helpful. We listen more than talk. We sit quietly and speak slowly. (People do get worried when an eighty foot dragon moves quickly. And being a creature who breathes fire is not always helpful in social situations.) So, we sit quietly and wait for our visitors to come. Which they do. They come and go. We wonder about the manner of their coming and going.  From this we learn a good deal about who is visiting us.

Some visitors come because “it’s good for them”. Some because they’ve heard that dragons are good listeners. But for some people coming to see us is complicated. Part of them wants to come. Another part does not. Some other part wants us to be useless. Then they don’t “have ” to come anymore. (And yet another part is terrified lest we are useless.) For these folk, being with us is difficult .So many conflicting voices all telling them something different.

It’s tempting to argue in theses cases. To justify why they should come and visit. To outline all the advantages.( I hear a slogan here. Something like “Accentuate the positive. Minimise the negative.” I must send that to our P.R. dragon. She might be able to do something with it.) Experience has taught us that this doesn’t help very much. So we carry on sitting and wonder with our visitors why they are so torn about being here. “It costs too much.” is common. “I don’t see the point.” is another. “Nothing is happening.” is popular. So we nod. Agree. Think about change and cost and being wanted. Or not. Slowly something becomes clear. The fear of being seen. Of having another hold a mirror and inviting me to see myself.

One of my visors was a monk. He commented that talking with me was like “Falling into the hands of the living God. Quite terrifying.” We spent a long time talking about this. It seems to link with an idea about being wholly seen. An experience he described as both wonderful and awful at the same time. “I wanted to run way and never come back. But also to stay here and never have to leave again.”

Having grown up amongst dragons I forget how we can seem to people. Eighty foot and two tons of a fire-breathing creature might feel intimidating. Yet our size is what protects our visitors. We know who we are. And how we might seem. Which only makes things more difficult for some people. Sadly.