Surrounded by Wonder

May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

My life is full of magic, and too often I forget to notice.

This weekend I drove into the mountains, greeted fellow dreamers, and dressed myself in soft shining coppers and blues, something out of medieval fantasy. Horns on my head, long ears extending from mine; I became someone else, let the passionate emotional direct side of myself out to play, and stepped into another world.

One full weekend. Live-action roleplay at its worst is just play-acting, “let’s pretend” for grown-ups. At its best it is theater, it is magic, it is transformation: I am immersed in another world, everyone playing their part, and I am drowning in the magnification and characterization of an oft-buried aspect of Self. It is magic when I forget myself and become that character so deeply that I feel the rush of adrenaline, I am shaking in the satyr’s rage without meaning to, I am a hurricane of fury and pain barely kept in check. Let go, and be.

Once the weekend was over, my lover and I let our shadows out to play and dance and struggle. Immersed in a different world altogether, inducing fear even though we both know there’s no real risk of harm, fear on the edge of pain that bubbles up into my throat stretched bare by a hand in my hair, the pull burning at my scalp. Trapped there to flutter in panic, pulse like a living thing held in place by a tightening grip that knows exactly how far to go, when to pause, where to stop, how far to push without harm. And this, too, was magic; two shadows consuming and consumed in a dynamic tension.

This weekend, walking as a satyr brimming with emotion, I sat next to someone I’d met only briefly once before a year ago. He was a satyr too, though I don’t think that’s too far from his normal state – Mediterranean ancestry showing in angular features, curly brown hair, faun-dark eyes, mischief in his movements. There was something very familiar about him, and sitting next to him was comfortable, easy. I was just beginning to think of how he seemed so very familiar when he asked me if I, out of character, had been to these places, worked in those parts of town, something – because to him, I too seemed very familiar, like he’d known me for a long time.

Ah, well! Old friends I’ve never met, truly? Again, without calling for it, without wrapping my will around the tangle of lines in my chest and tugging? Magic. Connections never made this lifetime, only rediscovered.

A dragon lives coiled down the hall from me, dark eyes full of old knowledge and old pain. We share a bond older than our bodies and deeper than flesh, myth and memory braided so tight it’s hard to tell which is which. As if it matters…

I was reading through some writings, my perceptions of other people – poetry and rhythm, texture and imagery – and wondering at the amazing intense people in my life. Dragons walking in human skin, barely disguised, boiling with size and heat. Elves and fae, fitting better in their forms but burning there, consuming, spinning spirit fine as mist through their bodies and back out. Animal-folk with the wild deep in their gaze and feral movement, fur and feathers itching muscle.

And all of this could be mere story, mere archetype, simply myth – but there is no mere about it, for even without fact there is Truth here, mythic truth, mythos, and that is what feeds the soul. That is where the magic is, in the stories we tell and live and breathe.

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Dragon’s Web

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in November 2009.

My blood flows with the essence of both Spider and Dragon.

There is Dragon from my mother—strange, is it not, that someone so soft-spoken would have heat and flame predominant within her?—for she is Gekido Clan, and our emblem is the black dragon for a reason.

There is Spider from my father—ah, and that is more rational, with his intricate webs of plot and deceit, Toshori Clan upbringing, and cold detachment.

All of my kind are both of Dragon and of Spider, of course; but time and breeding and upbringing have separated the two in some places, and perhaps we even descend from two lines of dark elf. Why must one legend or another be true? Perhaps both creation myths are true simultaneously.

Akeno—well, he is dragon at his core, deep passion and hot intensity. He conceals it behind a spider-mask: controlled expression, courtly manners, measured words. But one only has to look at his eyes to know there’s fire in his spirit, strong emotions behind his every action, a heated opinion that he does not speak.

I am a spider concealed in a dragon’s husk. Cold detachment. Plotting, analyzing, waiting. Yet outward warmth establishes rapport. Languor and indulgence lower the defenses of others, puts them off their guard. I seem friendly enough, approachable enough, do I not? I even know the trick, most times, of bringing my smile into my eyes. But it is all cool calculation and a spinning web within.

This is not, of course, to say that I do not feel, that I am not passionate-—we are a passionate people, and that necessitates outward control and rigid courtesy to keep it all in check. But my passion is cold where Akeno’s is hot; I detach where he engages. I observe my emotional reactions from a distance and let them burn out without any fuel to keep them burning; Akeno uses his emotions as fuel.

He will burn out, doing that. Though perhaps I will freeze. Will it end in ice or will it end in fire?

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