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Two Things, Pathologizing and Mythologizing

Posted Aug 21 2012 4:45pm
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

This morning as I got Sophie ready for school, and the usual happened, I thought that I cannot write about any of this -- again. I thought that I am beginning to sound like the broken record that plays a seizure soundtrack. I thought that even my post about my newest health insurance and anti-epileptic medication woes is repetitive, incredibly repetitive except for the number of photos that depict me as tired, so tired, with seemingly fat fingers. I haven't included many photos of myself in posts, and when I look at these I see the toll, the toll. 

I thought that you could probably troll through the more than two thousand posts that I've written over the past four years and find only three or so topics that I've written about, maybe even two. As I pulled away from Sophie's school, I watched as one of the aides, a wonderful man in a straw hat, bent over Sophie and gently spoke with her and I felt overcome. Tears pricked my eyes and they were not just from the seemingly endless depths of sadness but also ones of gratitude, that people like this exist, that they help to make my daughter's life a good one. I wasn't going to write about this, though, another track on the endless loop.

 But then I got home and read Lisa's comment about the significance of the red dragon in Taoist philosophy. Here it is on my recent Dragon Mom post:

At the risk of sounding like a complete wacko, just wanted to share some of my latest discoveries with you since they seem to have an interesting relevence to your experience. The Tao is a Chinese philosophy (not the religion) that discusses the principles of yin and yang energy. These are opposing life energies that rely on one another to define themselves. The Yin is sometimes represented as a green dragon, it is the inactive, intuitive, female energy (or perhaps mermaid-like?) The Yang energy is sometimes represented by a red dragon. It is the active, action-based, masculine energy that is necessary to balance the Yin.A dragon swallowing its tale is an image used to represent the Yin Yang philosophy of the continuous cycles of life. The red dragon is also used sometimes to represent Sheng Qi a type of inner energy that Taoists use to fight disease and promote long life. Just thought this reading and symbolism had an interesting connection to your dragon vision..for whatever it is worth...wishing you and Sophie much peace always.

I am very familiar with Taoist principles and philosophy having studied it quite a bit in my college years, but I had never heard about the significance of the red dragon. When I had that vision of myself as a fuming dragon, sitting on the side of Sophie's bed as she seized and began to write about it, I thought, too, of the inimitable art of William Blake, the great nineteenth century poet, and I remembered that somewhere in his vast archive there was a painting of a woman and a dragon, and sure enough there it was: The Great Red Dragon and Woman Clothed by the Sun. Lisa's comment, read at just the right moment, reminded me again of the great power of synchronicity, that, perhaps, there are no coincidences. I am just swallowing my tail, at times, living over and over my life, but I am also red with fire, fighting this godawful disease and helping Sophie to live a better, longer life.

After reading Lisa's comment, I read Verna Wilder's
I am always so moved by your posts, and when you use Blake's images, I know I'm in for a powerful experience. I love what Lisa shared about the Tao and dragon energy. I heard Jean Houston speak once about mythologizing our lives instead of pathologizing our lives. You mythologize, you and your mermaid daughter and the deep poetry in your heart, your dear dragon heart. You show us how it's done, and your words tear me apart and put me back together again. I appreciate you more than I can say.

Mythologizing is nearly effortless for me, and I had always thought it made me more wack-a-doodle than healthy. I'm going to think otherwise, now, even on this day of seizures and tears and gentle, bent-over heads and whispering, kind words.

I don't have more to say but would, rather, put my hands together in a prayer-like pose and bow my head to you, Lisa, and to you, Verna and to all of you.

To you.
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