The Silver Dragon
Think of a beautiful opalescent silver dragon trapped inside a nightmare dungeon
with shards of crippling, rusting steel and rotten straw for a resting place;
and here and there, on the walls of the dungeon there are evil fairground
mirrors that make it weep when it catches a glimpse of its own gruesome and
distorted shape. It dreams of flying sometimes but had to put all such thoughts
away because the longing and the pain the memories of how it used to be, of how
it should be make this prison even more unbearable by far, had to take these
thoughts and glimpses and remembrances and push them far down below the surface
awareness - it is all it can allow itself to know.
It doesn't know that there are many others, just the same as itself, trapped
similarly in these atrocious conditions and it can sometimes hear their cries
and screams through the walls and it screams back because at least then, there
is an illusion of not being all alone, forsaken, in its horror.
It can't even allow itself to remember that there is a world outside of this
evil dungeon, a world where it could fly and actually touch and sing with others
of its own kind, a world bright and alive, powerful, with wind that would touch
its shiny sensitive scales and make the dragon shiver and with cleansing,
sparkling rain; with colours that reflect off its fantastic living skin and make
it fire golden with the setting sun, or vibrant green when it flies across the
forests and eternal blue from the sky above.
And in not remembering, immersed in its own suffering and the games of pain and
false illusion it creates, it has trapped itself more powerfully than the
greatest cage of steel would be, could ever be, because it has the power if it
only knew to simply raise its head and sing a song that makes the walls
disintegrate, the shards of rusting iron fall to dust and all of that would
simply blow away - the truth would be revealed and all the world, and all its
life, would rightfully lie at the dragon's feet that instant.
But here it cowers, surrounded by the monster mirrors in the dark, and made its
explanation to sustain a laboured breath, one at a time, "It is my fate, it is
quite right that I should suffer here - just look at me. It is a blessing to the
world that I should find myself right here and now, for my own weakness and my
ugliness would stain just every place, just every thing that I would seek to
touch. I am glad of it. At least now not a single living thing will ever look at
me - a dream I had, a dream I had of old, that one fine day another would come,
would enter here and see me with their own real eyes, and yes, I hunger for it
but the truth is that I never could survive their horror at my sight, their
drawing back and the final condemnation of my evil, of my unspeakable sin of
And it is this decision that has kept them here of all; and it this decision and
submission to a seeming truth which is in truth the greatest lie of all which
has us stand here, horror struck and watch this creature of a beauty that would
take your breath away and would make you want to bow your head and raise your
hands in blessing and respect, watch it tear itself to pieces in a madness that
would never be, that has no sense, no purpose, no merit and no justice; that is
not a gift to anyone at all and simply makes you wonder how this came to be.
You stand and wonder and you cry and shake your head; but what is this? A tiny
flash of light within this darkness? What is this, what could this be?
We move towards the spark we saw and what we see is that a tiny scale from the
dragon's silver opalescent skin has fallen, has become caught on a rusting shard
and here it is, a fairy thing of truth, an impossible thing, a thing that should
not be here, could not be here - if ...
The dragon sees it too and tries to turn away but it cannot; for all its
efforts, deep below inside its mind, inside its very structure yes, there are
the memories of flying and of sunlight and there is a resonance and recognition
to this tiny spark of silver, right here.
The dragon blinks its beautiful true blue eyes but it is not an illusion; the
little spark has not receded and is here; a little piece of its true self
revealed before its very eyes.
And though the captive dragon tries to fight itself and tries to take the
monster mirror evidence to keep its prison as it was, this single spark has
changed its world and once it starts to look around with different eyes, and
once it starts remembering a little even though the memories themselves have
been weighed down and hidden and distorted by its own command, there is a change
that cannot be undone - and with this change, the dragon finds that if it stares
at a single point on one of the sadistic walls for long enough, a tiny gap, a
crack might well appear and there's a sense of air, clean air, night air from
How long will it take before the dragon can escape?
Will it be before its death of desperation?
Will it give up along the way and simply let itself fall prey to stupor, pain
receding and tension now relieved?
Will it drive itself insane and disappear inside itself, be lost for all
eternity and never even knowing when the hollow shell it left behind no longer
And I say NO! to all of that - I send a star seed, send a sign, a message to
the dragon in despair of self; it is a beacon and a ray of hope in darkest night
but it is also magic.
The dragon sees it, floating gently, small and softly muted rainbow colours pure
and sweet, but it sees more for where the star seeds rays of truth reflect upon
the monster mirrors it cannot but break the spell and tiny patches, silver
bright, do now appear and they reflect the dragon's truth of course, as they
would have to on this day.
I settle down to watch as mirror after mirror begins its transformation and
begins to show the truth; I watch and cannot help but smile as I observe the
dragon's struggle with its own illusions, breaking down with ease and no
resistance being possible because illusions cannot live in light of truth - they
are revealed for what they are and once they are unmasked to be impostors of the
real, all that remains is now to wonder how it could have ever been that anyone
could make a mistake of such monumental, such unprecedented proportions.
There is a time when all the mirrors show the truth; there is a time when our
silver dragon lies before them, knowing all they ever thought they knew was
wrong, and try and seek to use that wrongness to restore the old familiar sense
of monster-hate but it must fail, and when it is quite done, of course then it
will rise and in defeat, will flex its wings and in its voice, unsure at first,
but rising then with power and remembrance, shatter what remains of its
illusionary goal and rise at last, new born and yet returned to old, to finally
bestow its presence and its beauty to delight us all.
The Silver Dragon
By Silvia Hartmann
Saturday, June 07, 2003