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[personal profile] tangyabominy
I want to talk about dragons.

I often talk about dragons, though I think I don't often say what it is I want to say about them. They come up as examples, a lot, when I'm talking about things Otherkin-related, without me really putting much thought into the fact that I'm doing so: they just seem very archetypal, and useful for that. Perhaps it's in part the fact that the first Otherkin stories (as in self-reports/discussion of the concept) I came across on the internet involved dragons. But they've always seemed, in my head, like the Platonic ideal of Otherkin: not in the sense that all 'kin aspire to or should aspire to be dragons, but in the sense that when I think of Otherkin, they're what I think of, and the descriptions of the concept that have been by dragons have always resonated most strongly with me.

(Perhaps that's because dragons, or the ones I've run across, seem to like words and expounding at length. I like these too, so perhaps we're a natural fit.)

Ever since I discovered the concept of Otherkin, I've wondered if I "was" a dragon. "Yes" never seemed like the right answer, but "no" never did, either. The best theory I've had (and it is just a theory, suited for my own spirituality and not necessarily anyone else's) is that the existence of Otherkin may be a reflection of the fact that we are all, in our hearts, striving towards some (idealised/wondrous/glorified/superhuman) existence, and that dragon (like angel, perhaps) is a particularly good visual/thematic/resonant coathanger for that feeling. In some people, this manifests as a strong feeling that they "are" dragon, because they are: because we all have that idealistic potential within us, and some are closer, in heart and spirit, to that endpoint of our evolutionary spectrum than most. Perhaps to be at the far end of that spectrum is, in a spiritual and physical sense, to be a dragon, and that's what they sense. (Perhaps it is also to be an angel, and a wolf, and a kraken. These possibilities are not incompatible. In fact, perhaps it is to be all things.) In others, it manifests more as a feeling of seeking that endpoint, without feeling like it attaches to any specific form.

In as far as this theory of Otherkin goes, I am Otherkin, if nonspecifically so. By other definitions, I'm not. I feel that the label makes sense to me, that it speaks to me in a soul-shivery, deep-down yes-that's-right sort of way, and yet I could not tell you what I "am". For my part, I'm not sure it matters, but it's a little awkward when it comes to having a conversation on the topic. Some people are dragons, perhaps (this is again only a theory), because they resonate with the form of dragon. I resonate with dragon, and with places like that little forest-lake-scape in my icon up there, and haunting chords of videogame music, and pastel-sunset skies: all enough that I can taste them, none of them enough that I can really step inside them, mentally. They all seem to be the signifier, rather than the signified, for me: they hint at the thing, but are not the thing itself.

For me personally, I feel that attaching to the label of "dragon", making that my self-label, would be beside the point. It would focus me on something other than the feeling, of which "dragon", to me, is only an echo. (Perhaps this makes me "meta-kin". I'd accept that label with a smile, if I were looking for labels at all.)

And yet those who do dwell within "dragon" as their natural form, those who write about it and pour out about it and live it every day of their lives, seem to be naturally compelling to me. Which is not to say that I am fascinated with them because I've learned that they're dragons, in the manner of someone who treats people as a collection of traits, rather than organic beings. But it is to say that no small number of people who've claimed to be dragons have seemed to me... not even, necessarily, more wise or thoughtful than other species, but more right, more there, on some primal and profound level I don't claim to understand. Even when I disagree with what they say, or when I've heard what they have to say before (although interestingly, neither of these things are too common), they seem to say it from a place, from a mindset, whose very invocation makes me feel elevated.

There is something about being with dragons, and speaking with dragons, that feels like serenity. Sometimes it's a "light" serenity, like travelling to the top of a mountain to meet with a Buddhist monk around whom plants and creatures flourish. Sometimes it's a "dark" serenity, like opening your mouth to speak to that same monk and meeting his gaze and realising he is worlds away from you, that you have much to learn, child, that the answer to your question was never to have asked it at all. Sometimes it's neither of these, and I don't always feel it. But dragons are good at it, and it's the most consistent "Otherkin-y" experience I've had with Otherkin: inasmuch as any 'kin resonate their species to me, or at least resonate some otherworldly, magical current, dragons do it the most.

In conclusion... there is no conclusion. Dragons are Something to me, and always will be. The concept of Otherkin draws me in, and it always will, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to claim a specific nonhuman identity. The concept of doing so, almost, seems tangential to what Otherkin is to me (which I know is a bizarre thing to say when the concept is basically defined as "claiming a specific nonhuman identity" - hence the "meta-kin" concept earlier), which is to say that Otherkin, to me, is a feeling. A feeling of rightness, a feeling of truth, a feeling of peace, such that I find it hard not to count myself in with Otherkin when the concept comes up. But I find it hard to count myself, too.

July 2011

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