Saturday, July 2, 2011

Waking the Dragon

No, I'm not referring to the legendary temper of a character in A Game of Thrones. I'm referring to one half of an ongoing battle between...two forces. Not good and evil per se. Mercy and justice.

I associate so many names and faces with the Divine, frequently having many facets, as we all do. Folks in India dearly love Kali as Mother, yet we in the West are more familiar with her destructive aspect. Other Divine faces concern themselves with the not-too-different matters of both love and war: Inanna, Freya, Brigid. Even Kuan Yin, possibly the ultimate face of compassion, is often pictured riding a dragon.

It makes one want to say, 'What would Sybil do?'

It does seem odd sometimes that I experience the Divine this way. And yet, given how complicated even we humans can be, doesn't it make sense that we came from something or someone even more sophisticated? There is too much to fit into just one thought in just one brain, one feeling in one heart.

She is a mosaic to me. That doesn't bother me anymore. However, it does leave me wondering: if love is the law (and it is), why are there so many different and opposing ways to love?

Even if you remove sex and romantic love from the equation, it's still so easy to be cruel and kind at the same time. I don't know anyone who hasn't hurt someone else, and deeply, myself included. I remember this when one friend is accused of hurting another. How do I show love to both of them?

When does an unacceptable word or act become excusable? Does your position change if someone was drunk, off their medication, or simply had low blood sugar? What if there was a death in the family or some equally epic event? What tips the scales that far? What doesn't?

I just don't know. And I feel that I have to be all right with that. Yet life goes on, and so do the lives of those I care about. In a perfect world--no, a tame world--we would all be in a Hug o' War and no one would feel like a victim, a villain, an outcast. But we are wild and we are willed. We dance the dance of life, and in our passion, we stomp on one another's toes.

To continue the metaphor to its limits, some of us started the dance wearing cleats.

I don't like confrontation, but sometimes it's appropriate. The question is, when? When do you wake the dragon?

I still don't know.

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