I Am the Dragon, Do You Know What That Means?


“Don’t fashion me into a maiden that needs saving from a dragon. I am the dragon, and I will eat you whole.” ~ Unknown

I am the dragon. My wings block out the sun, and the heat of my breath turns whole cities to ash.

When I dance upon the ground, the world turns beneath my feet — cosmic revolutions; revelations by the firelight of my skin. When I smile, mountains tremble; they shudder to hear me laugh.

I am the dragon. I swallow the sky in one gulp and wrap the universe in my tail. I drink blood and bleed lava — forests grow from the strands of my hair.

When I set fire to those forests, I burn with them, but when I rise, they rise with me. When I fly, the stars soar, too — spinning reflections in my eyes — but when I cry, worlds drown in the oceans of my tears.

I am the dragon. I paint fear upon the walls of the cosmos, but so too do I carve magic. I will consume you in a single glance, and just as quickly mourn your loss — so tragic — and seek again some fleeting satisfaction.

So if you wonder why you cannot grasp me — why the effort breaks your hands — I’d ask you to reconsider, and try to understand:

Your entire existence is smaller than a single scale on my body; so tell me how one so small could hope to contain the power that forges the universe and sets whole cities aflame?

Tell me, please, if you will, what arrogance is this, that believes itself worthy to grasp fire in its fist? Are you really so ignorant — are you truly so lost — as to think my attention doesn’t come at a cost?

I am the dragon; do you know what that means? I carry eons in my claws and infinity in my teeth — if you peel back my scales, you’ll find everything beneath.

Yet… yet… I need you as much as you need me, for what is infinity without minds to grasp it? What is fire without forests to burn? What is laughter if no mountains crumble, and what is dance without the world to turn?

I hold the universe within me, but then, so do you. My soul is made of fire, but maybe yours is too.

My eyes reflect the stars; my flight is destruction. Climb upon my back, though, and see that we are born of the same sun. I may be fear, and I may be darkness, but in my deepest recesses, you’ll find the stuff of your creation.


wp-content-uploads-2015-02-toby-israel-100x148Toby Israel is an incorrigible vagabond. She travels in search of dragons, mermaids, adventures and searches… and cross-cultural understanding. Avid dancer, yogi, cook and lover of words, she is inspired by movement and poetry, good food and new things. She studied Anthropology at Middlebury College and now seeks to squeeze by as a freelance writer. She writes a column for Elephant Journal, and a travel blog, Next Stop World. You can also follow her journey on Twitter and Facebook.


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