Friday, November 2, 2007

Fighting with a Plastic Sword - Part 2

Life seems complete; each day you fly with the Dragon and share with him your deepest secrets and desires. But after living in the field for a time, you remember those dreams and ambitions and once again long to discover what lies beyond the field. On a very sad day, you say goodbye to the Dragon, hurt to see the pain and longing in his eyes. You venture into the forest and leave the field behind. But you should have known better. The next morning you wake up once again in the field with the Dragon and you finally comprehend that you will never be able to leave the Dragon’s field. You begin to resent the Dragon, suspecting that somehow he is the one preventing you from leaving. But soon you get tired of feeling angry and confused, so you lapse into depression. You had dreamed your life would be so different from this.

One day you climb a tree at the edge of the field- you just want a break from the Dragon. Surveying the land, you see in the distance the mountains that you had always dreamed of exploring. You ache inside, consigned that you will never achieve that goal. Turning back, you look down on the field and the Dragon. Suddenly a new feeling kindles within- not anger, or sadness, or joy- just acceptance… and maybe even a little bit of resolve. This is home, so you might as well deal with it. Perhaps you will never be able to do all that you had once hoped to accomplish, but you can make the most of what you have. A castle- you always dreamed of living in a huge castle- one with tall towers of bright white stone. As you climb down from your vantage point, you notice a quarry at the far edge of the field. Has that always been there? So you begin construction. The Dragon watches curiously each day as walls, arches, and parapets go up in his field. After some time- a year, or maybe five- your castle is finally complete. You feel so satisfied and cry for joy as you run through the corridors and courtyards of this castle that you had always dreamed of having. You climb to the topmost tower and look down on the field. The Dragon looks up at you from far below; he cannot fit through the castle gate, but this is still his field. On the horizon you can see your mountains. But this time you don’t feel so hopeless. Maybe one day you will be able to reach them after all. Maybe one day…

You can interpret this any way you like, considering that I am only passing it on from my friend at the counseling center. Where are you in the story?


playasinmar said...

I'm half-tempted to say, "Pbbt, Dragons are way cooler than castles."

Although... I'm curious if your friend at the counseling center was relating the dragon to homosexuality or heterosexuality.

forever barred said...

Ahh, part 2 definitely sounds like our friend there.

You know, I have always wanted to live in a castle. But I have also always wanted to fly. The latter has been some what of an obsession of mine. Dragons can fly.

Just a thought, but this dragon in this story doesn't seem like the same dragon in your earlier conversations.

draco said...

playa- you can call the dragon anything you like, I suppose. My friend at the counseling center called it homosexuality. And yeah, I also think dragons are pretty cool.

peter- "Everyone deserves the chance to fly, and if I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free- to those who'd ground me, take a message back from me: tell them how I am defying gravity! I'm flying high defying gravity!"

"When there's a smile in your heart
There's no better time to start
It's a very simple plan
You can do what the birdies can
At least it's worth a try
You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!"

Yeah- it's not really the same dragon. But I haven't figured out yet if the dragon in the field and the dragon who likes to argue are on the same team.

playasinmar said...

Okay, if the dragon is homosexuality then your friend at the counseling center speaking of defeating it. Not surprising, I guess. That's what the counseling center is for.

But let me say this:

If you are ever presented with a dragon who flies you around and you choose to avoid it; toil years on end to build a castle to separate yourself from it you have, in fact, wasted your dragon. I mean, c'mon, it's a dragon. They're rare and amazing! Only a select few get them!

Why would anyone want to view their most unique gift from atop a cold, distant castle wall?

RealisticGuy said...

Playa -

No matter how rare or precious the dragon could be, it bars you from your one true desire, which in this case is the castle. Flying sounds great (I admit, that would be an amazing experience), but it pales in comparison to achieving the ultimate goal. By choosing not to waste the dragon, you waste your original dream.

The real question is: what is your goal? Flying with dragon, or building the castle?

playasinmar said...

It just seems like a shame to not fly with the thing you're wired to fly with.

And living a life that where your finest joy is perpetually denying yourself that Happiness... well, that seems like the greatest tragedy of all.

RealisticGuy said...

But once again, the question remains: is that really your finest joy? I suppose that is left for each of us to decide. And also, this is where I struggle the most.

My question was not proposed to object your position, but simply to paint the picture: a clear, black-and-white decision. There are two defined sides, and each needs to choose their own. It comes down to what we want, our desires. I try to tell myself that happiness is an intricate part of this life; perpetually denying ourselves of any given desire can be unsatisfying, but if it is done in order to attain true joy, then it is worth it in the end. But, how do we know it will be worth it? This seems to be the underlying question draco has proposed, and to tell you the truth, it is the same question that really has me thinking.

forever barred said...

My question was not proposed to object your position, but simply to paint the picture: a clear, black-and-white decision.

While we do tend to over-complicate the issue, I don't think that it is a black and white decision. I don't think there are only two options either.

I think it is fair to say that happiness- lasting happiness- is everyone's goal. I don't think that there is one type of happiness or one way to achieve happiness. I don't really think the point of the dragon story was to favor one way over another.

The point was to say that fighting the dragon with a plastic sword is useless- your time could be much more productively spent in either flying with the dragon or building a castle. It is not healthy to invest everything into fighting something that you won't defeat. That doesn't mean you have to embrace a lifestyle you don't want to embrace, it just means that you should invest your energy into something productive- whatever that is for you.

Brady said...

I'll interrupt the debate about the symbolism of the dragon to say that I really really like this allegory. Not just the story itself but also the way it was written and articulated.

And I would have to agree with Peter that the most poignant point of this story is that trying to fight the dragon is a wasted effort and relatively unproductive. Learning how to find happiness in the field with the dragon is much more productive. Realizing this is probably one of the most important things a MoHo can do to keep their sanity and start doing something with their life! Of course, trying to decide how to live in the field with the dragon can be a long and arduous process as well....

RealisticGuy said...

I must agree with Brady...I really like this analogy, and I find application of it to all my struggling points, not just my SSA tendencies (which is predominantly on my mind these days). Also, I agree that fighting the dragon would be unfruitful. My original question remains: do you fly all day with it, or do you build the castle? That was the part I meant to be black and white. That does not diminish the difficulty of making the decision; I know, I am in the middle of it.