As a dragon I’m used to people thinking all sorts of things about me. I allegedly breathe, fire, ice or poison. (Sometimes all together?) I’m a ruthless killer. A symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Something to be hated. Or loved. Or both. (I’m generally made into whatever shape suits a person or tribe at any given moment. As a young dragon I used to say ” But that’s not who I am.” Nowadays I’ve learned to sit quietly whilst the person or group in front of me dance around whatever they think I am. Eventually they stop long enough to take a look at what is actually in front of them. Then we can talk about why they thought I would eat them the moment they came into my den. Or deflower their young women-and men. But sometimes someone will visit me and sit and talk about things that are sacred. That have so much value that they cannot be spoken of. Except that they have to be spoken of to someone. The need to share these parts is overwhelming. Yet fear, shame, embarrassment all get in the way. So I become the place where those things can be spoken. I am invited into that place in a person’s soul where very few others may go.
I have had a few encounters like these in my time. I am entrusted with someones most important parts. When this happens I get the dragonish equivalent of goose bumps. All I can do is sit as quietly as I can. And listen. With my whole being. I end up holding my breath. Like seeing a baby being born. Or watching a very rare and wary creature. One tries to become invisible. I feel myself on holy ground.
Some of my visitors talk of a ceremony where everyday elements of bread and wine are transformed into something much greater. I understand what they mean. Ordinary words have to become a means of sharing something much greater than themselves. A visitor uses whatever means they have to let me understand something way beyond the words themselves. It is an awesome experience. For both of us. (I keep looking for burning bushes or similar!)
Encounters like this leave me amazed at the capacity of my visitors. Their capacity for wonder. For creativity. For gift giving..
I, too, am changed by these moments.