Monday, August 20, 2012

Dragon Mother

detail from William Blake's The Great Red Dragon and Woman Clothed by the Sun

It's still summer in Los Angeles even though Sophie has gone back to school. It's hot here, like it always is in August and September, and when I got up with Sophie and started feeding her breakfast, she had one of those big seizures at the table, and while I tried to stop it, it didn't stop so I picked her up, angrily, and first sat on the stool but felt squeezed there and couldn't protect her jerking arms and legs so I lifted her up and me up and rushed down the hallway to her room feeling like one of those mothers you read about who lift up cars off their dying children. That is exactly what I felt like but I wasn't fueled by love but by anger and it rose up so strong in me that when I put Sophie on her bed and rolled her to the side I felt steam coming out of my ears so I plopped down beside her, my back to her and breathed in and out like a dragon. A dragon mother with a scaly interfering tail and breath like fire, late summer fire in Los Angeles, ignited by the tiniest of embers that burns slow until it catches just right and the whole place is up in flames.


  1. Heading your way with a fire hose right now. Xo.

  2. Anger is so powerful. Sometimes the whole world does need to go up in flames, Dragon Mama. Sometimes it just does.

  3. this post makes me realize how deeply i do not know how it is for you, but i am grateful to be able to come here and try to understand.

  4. I second Angella's comment.
    And I am so struck by the way you simply are whatever you are in that moment. And how fearlessly you share who you are.
    Thank you.

  5. I felt that anger.

  6. I am angry for you. Just pisses me off the things you endure. The things SHE endures.

    Love you my friend and, could the heat and the heaviness of it all just simply go away?

  7. I do hate seizures. I'm sorry for your rough morning with Sophie. I remember once growling at seizures that wouldn't stop for Max, and afterwards thinking I was like a wild animal. I do hate seizures.

  8. The searing brilliance of your writing, the way you express yourself, and the pain I feel for you and Sophie literally takes my breath away. S Jo

  9. Without those moments of burning fire, my dear, I think you would explode.
    I'm proud of you for letting it burn and humbled that you share it here.


  10. Elizabeth, I'm so glad you have your writing, and a great skill for it - you may be an explosive dragon mom, but I wonder whether you'd implode without it. This is a powerful piece of writing. Hugs to you and Sophie.

  11. I first wrote "Honestly, Elizabeth, I don't know how you do it," but I realize how trite that sounds. (Besides, you have so many posts titled "How We Do It"!) I imagine that dragon is a powerful source of strength when you need it.

  12. I saw this painting in the post and had the sudden urge to rip it up and start eating it. Does that make me weird? ;)

    All disability sucks ass.

    That's my mantra.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.



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