Sunday, December 19, 2010

Den of Dragons

I hope that, in some small way, this will explain my recent absence. I beg patience. It will get better (or so I'm told).

Not too long ago, a friend (you know who you are!) posted a quote by JRR Tolkein on her blog:
"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."
I have had reason to ponder this quote in depth, and if you'll indulge me an extended metaphor, I'll share.

Grief is the dragon that currently resides in this neighborhood. Most of the time, he's pretty hard to forget, but if you do happen to slip and "leave him out of your calculations", then you are likely to be blindsided by an attack that leaves you feeling scorched. He might follow you into the grocery store or hide in the trunk of your car, but he's never far away. The constant battle to keep him at bay is exhausting and, on many days, leaves little room for other occupations.

This dragon is a trickster too. He is invisible to almost everyone else. Others in your life may be aware of your brush with him, but most of them assume that it was a brief encounter and that he has gone on his way into other parts. You know this is not so. Daily you deal with the pain of the wounds he has inflicted on you and by night you feel the heat of his breath in your eyes. The freshness of these scars also brings to mind the pain of dragons fought in the past. Dragons, after all, seldom walk alone.

There is good news however. Over the course of time, this dragon can be tamed. There will come a day when you will be able to name him a friend and together you can pour over the gems that he is hoarding. For, like all dragons, he is the keeper of a treasure trove. Someday, he will spend more time in his den, along with all of the other dragons, and you can visit him there. He will keep you warm, and you can pick through his stash, recalling the happy circumstances under which each jewel was acquired.

You will never slay him, but he will no longer be your enemy.