Sunday, January 25, 2009

No More Dragons

Explosions come from all around. The air is so smoky you can hardly see five feet in front of you. The night sky is filled with lights, bursting and dripping through the air. It's Chinese New Year.
I've only been back to China twice for the New Year. But each time the firecrackers went from dawn til midnight. The fireworks exploded more than the 4th of July. The story behind firecrackers and Chinese New Year is a wonderful symbolic one I think of often...especially during the New Year.
According to legend, there once lived a dragon. He came out of his cave once a year, forced his way through the village gates and kidnapped a young virgin in his thick, hairy hands--like a guest picking up a toothpick.
The villagers were terrified of this dragon.
The village priest suggested building the village walls higher. Setting a bonfire. Making a fake dragon. None of these methods worked.
Then one year as the dragon approached, a child lit a pocketful of firecrackers, one by one. Kaboom. The dragon jumped back on his haunches. Kaboom. His scales turned bright yellow. Kaboom. Kaboom. The dragon turned and ran away, never to be seen again.
I love this story, because we all have dragons: Dragons who say you can't accomplish this or try that, dragons who breathe their intimidating fires, dragons who make you afraid to follow your heart. Imagine the sound of firecrackers. Kaboom. Kaboom. Kaboom.
Happy Year of the Ox. May it be one of Happiness and Prosperity...and No Dragons.

7 comments:

beckylevine said...

Great post, Jana. I love that it was a child that thought about the firecrackers, because--sometimes--I think we feel like children when faced with a problem.

Still...there is something, too, in the story about the dragon bringing out the child's ingenuity, so maybe we need SOME (mild) dragons, too? I think I do, or I tend to just curl up and ignore the world going by.

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

Good point, Becky. I heard someone once say, "Do something outside your comfort zone everyday." (I don't always make it.)
So, I guess rather than wishing "No More Dragons," I should say--as the legend went--"Face Your Dragons." (Hopefully not every day.:)

beckylevine said...

Every day??! :) I agree, a little much for me. But how about every opportunity?

Okay, how weird is this--the word I have to type to get your blog to take my comment is:

monstr

!!!

Anonymous said...

No dragon....what are you talking about? I'm born in the dragon year! We haven't gotten any OX ornament yet. Did you get anything?
Shoko

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

This wasn't your dragon, Shoko.:) It was a kind of monster dragon. A bad one.
What's an ox ornament?

shoko alberding said...

You know, something like "Ema(in Japanese)" or some little ox decorations for your room. We have some pigs and dogs on our refridge though.

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

Oh, okay. No, we didn't get any this year, either. But I have "fu" hanging in the doorway.:)

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