I fell into a hole.
Which is not to say that I’ve been buried.
Or living under a rock.
More that I’ve sort of been making my way clumsily through summer, stubbing my toes on awkwardly rocky conversations and bruising myself mightily by thudding into me-made walls and barriers as I try to navigate the generally normal social interactions that dominate the holiday period... especially when you live in a big-mother of a house by the beach like I do.
The universe has been trying to throw me a rope to haul myself out. A human rope. So maybe it was more of a life-sized 3D paper doll chain than a rope. I think I saw it there. I did try not to ignore it. But I lacked the courage to grasp it. In truth, I was frightened I might tear it by tugging too desperately, damage its integrity by dangling my substantial frame from its fragile fabric.
Luckily for me, there was magic about : the sort of magic Roald Dahl knew how to find, and make, and spread.
Never underestimate the power of a dragon.
Soon after his arrival, week by week, message by message, visit by visit began a parade from my past. People I thought lost to me came calling. Friends from earlier times and other places dropped by bringing memories and smiles, champagne and deliciously gooey French cheeses to share.
The evil bitch at the bottom of the hole, the one who holds fast to my ankles and laughs at my attempts to free myself, filled my head with her malicious whispers:
these people knew you when you were someone worth knowing… you used to be successful… what are you now?
she remembers you as a strong competent woman… you used to be worthy of her respect… what happened?
he hasn’t aged a bit: can’t say the same for you… look at yourself…be ashamed... be embarrassed
But the small dragon was there. Tangible. Textured with truths. Weighted with veracity.
These people had sought me out. All of them had thought of me, for whatever reason, and followed that thought with action. They had come to spend time with me. Not the person I used to be. Not the person I think I should be. Not even the person the whispering bitch wants me to be. Just me.
Y Ddraig Goch is his name: the Red Dragon of Wales. To me, he will forever be Y Ddraig Goch: Slayer of the Whispers.
It wasn't a rope I needed, or a chain of hands to drag me out of my hole, it was the wings of a small dragon.