One of the joys of being a dragon is our longevity. It is not too unusual for us to live for a thousand years. This means that we try to give things time. We give dragonets time to grow up .We expect them to make mistakes but to learn from them. (We do step in sometimes. A creature weighing several tons, 100 foot in length and breathing fire does need some supervision!) This longevity contrasts with our visitors who live much shorter, faster lives. (I have remarked before on the number of years that I was given to learn to listen. So we tend to want to allow conversations to grow and develop. This way misunderstandings, miscommunications can be thought about. Sometimes this doesn’t happen. We find ourselves trying to say too much, too soon. This is often because we feel the pressure from our guest to “Do something. Now!” Usually we manage to sit and think about this demand and ask our guests about their hurry. Sometimes, though, we feel the pressure to speak and act on it. When this happens things become very much more difficult .Like being caught in a quicksand. The more we struggle the more enmeshed we become.
I had this recently. Someone came to see me. They were in a hurry. There were matters to resolve. Battles to be fought-and won. Understandings to be gained. I made some observations about this hurriedness. And in my own hurry,I made them badly. My visitor was hurt and angry. I made the mistake of saying more-when saying less would have been wise. The more I said, the more I failed to say anything helpful to my visitor who thought that I was refusing to give a “proper” answer. (The thought being that there is a “proper” answer. And that I know it!) I suggested that we might understand what I had said at a later date .I was not clear about what had gone on between us but I believed that time would help us to understand things more clearly. I fear this was heard as my refusing to be honest. That I was blaming my visitor for what was felt to be my error. So I sat quietly and tried to say very little. This was experienced as my avoiding something. We have reached an impasse, I fear. My visitor wants to find another, better listener. One who can give clear, concise reasons for all their words and thoughts. Sadly, I am not going to be that listener. I want time. I want to think about other conversations we might have in the future. To think about how my clumsiness relates to other similar times in my visitor’s life. How they reacted to those past mis-understandings.But that will take time. Which does not seem to be available. So, I shall learn to listen once more and resist the pressure to have instant answers. (Time which, as a dragon, I shall have. )