princess hand 1

The Princess and the Dragonfly

Once there was a princess who never knew. And she never knew because she was never told. And that which remained unspoken was her true identity. She lived among those who never knew, or forgot, or for some hidden reason never acknowledged or called forth her true self. Blessing withheld out of ignorance or by design, but denied nevertheless. Now she was a beautiful child with intelligent eyes and an inquisitive nature. She smiled and it was like sunshine bouncing off the water. It lit up the world around her. Her nose would crinkle delicately in the most charming fashion and the happy light in her eyes would bring joy to those fortunate enough to come under her gaze.

She loved beautiful things. She loved trying to understand the world as it showed itself to her. She was loved, enough. She was cared for but the people around her did not see the world as she did or possess her thirst for depth. And that blood flowing through her veins would never allow her to rest and be satisfied with “normal”. She tried to fit in and did for the most part but there was always something which haunted, teased, and caused some dissatisfaction, some hunger, longing, some question, some second thought that there ought to be more. Something which haunted the periphery of her being was not quite settled. And she distrusted “perfect” things and people. She tended to be drawn to the uncommon, even what others considered flawed. She tended to seek out such things and had a knack for looking past the surface of a thing and discerning its nature. What she did not know then was that her birthright was calling, beckoning her outside. She was indeed uncommon yet she saw herself as somehow less than. What she considered as flaws in herself were merely the differences between her and those around her whose aptitude was limited. And on those boundaries and in that tension she gradually, slowly blossomed, becoming a singularly unique being with the ability to give the blessing denied her.

She was a rare beauty both inside and out. She was intelligent, quick witted, loyal, and tender towards others in need. But there was a problem sometimes as she interacted with people whose vision was blurred and who’s blunted desires were either lost or never quickened. For, in that they shaped and defined her world she began to doubt the ill defined calling of her own heritage. She began to doubt her true self until slowly and over time she made for herself a castle to live in. It was tall and well fortified and from it she could observe and even interact with people. It was enchanted with some secret enchantment that flowed from the nature of her birthright. And from there she could live and move, even appear present with others and all the while was locked safe behind the walls she had constructed.

She lived alone in the castle for the most part. Though she stayed engaged in her interests and the people in her life, her true self made its home there behind the walls. She began to accept the arrangement as final and good, and it was, but her heritage would not remain quiet and no matter how “good” things got there were times when the restlessness would come. The routines and people and interests that generally held her attention would seem flat and two dimensional. A strange longing would well up from within her. They were strangely familiar desires that seemed to call to her from far away places. She would find herself looking toward the mountains set far in the distance, or watching the waves crash into the shoreline. She would wistfully gaze beyond the far horizon and dream about what might lie beyond it. During these times home seemed unfamiliar and that beautifully strange longing seemed to originate from what seemed to be her more true habitation.

These “soul journeys” as she called them were confusing and even painful at times. They seemed crazy to her. Who hears such things in their head? Surely she was not “normal”. It was frustrating that world she had fashioned did not finally quiet the call to explore that which lay just outside her castle. There were times when the calling on her would become painful, and a bittersweet sadness would saturate her being. But even the sweet sad ache sometimes seemed more real and alive than her life behind castle walls. And in the secret heart of her heart she wished that it could all somehow be true.

At times it would become more than she could stand. Her noble being longed to shout a resounding “Yes!” to the call. To venture out into places unknown, to grapple with questions not yet fully formed, to find answers to those longings too deep for words. Yet she was in a way constrained by those around her. She had no example within the world and would shake off the longings as fantasy and unrealistic and then settle back in to the routines of the everyday.

At other times she would seek to quiet the call by not thinking too deeply about anything. Avoiding the depth she attempted to have fun in the moment, thrill with the excitement of the now. And at times it was exhilarating. But none of it ever quite reached her heart. It never bridged the gap between the inside and the out or filled the voids between the surface and the deep.

Then one day, as she was musing about life, allowing her soul to roam free. She idly twirled a daisy between her thumb and index finger. She watched the whirling, spinning flower petals thinking of nothing in particular. She was feeling generally satisfied and alert but not quite awake. And out of that energy a vague warm misty want emerged. It was not terrible, and was even pleasant in some ways. Buoyed there between waking and dreaming she caught a flash of light just inside the boundary of her vision. Lifting her eyes she sought and found a most amazing creature. It was pure light, or so it seemed, iridescent and multicolored. Like facets of a gem the light reflected its surroundings but multiplied and most clear. As she watched the creatures flight, darting, skimming, almost scurrying across the waters surface, she felt something move deep within her and drawing her to it. She believed that the creature held some enchantment for she felt the lure of her castle walls begin to diminish. The call of her true nature began to arise in her more strongly than she had ever felt it. She watched as it moved through the air. She was struck by its power and poise. It seemed to effortlessly move in any direction at will. She longed for such freedom. She studied the iridescence through the changing light. She was moved to throw down her castle walls and be like this creature, true to herself and reflecting the world back to itself as she moved through it. To be in the moment yet fully present without walls seemed heaven itself. She felt, rather than thought these things. She had yet to find language fit for the stream now flowing from the well of her soul. She was transfixed as she studied the creature’s most amazing eyes which could see almost 360 degrees around itself. Oh, to see that clearly and honestly, both herself and the world around her.

Her amazement deepened. She experienced excitement running through her which left her feeling exalted, lifted up. Her heart pounded in her chest, the hot blood of her noble birthright flowed freely through her veins. She watched spellbound as the little creature slowed, caught a branch, folded its wings, and became still, at rest. Its colors merged into a most pure silver. So unmingled was the color that it bordered on being translucent. And in that moment she stood on the boundary of her castle wall willing herself to cross and be near this creature.

The call of herself on herself was tremendous yet just as she was to take that first step outside the walls she experienced an opposite and opposing force. In the past she would have shrunk back inside. But this time a new determination, a focused anger, a force of will arose and would not be moved. Joy, desire, and longing flooded her and began to form constructs which should have become a resounding yes to those desires. But even as she began to form the chorus, to mouth the affirmative, she was pulled back from the edge. She struggled to carve out a new place for herself independent of both impulses. She surrendered to each of them simultaneously. She let go and found new freedom. She stepped outside and found new protection.

She was focused on the creature which had enchanted and moved her so. Emotions welled up in her to the point she could no longer contain them. Her mouth moved to form her joyful response and just as she released it the protective impulse engaged in the form of her biting her lower lip. Thus, stifling the sound to the point that the only noise which could be heard was an hushed but joyous resonance barely above a whisper. She mouthed “b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l”. And the sound seemed to float in the air, move toward and come to rest on the creature.

The creature stirred. A kaleidoscope of jewel toned colors cascaded up and down its length and breadth. It’s wings moved and it lifted into the air. It flew toward the girl and hovered just out of reach. The Princess’ heart pounded unsure of what was coming but maintained her place in the new space she had created. She felt shy, lifted up, exposed, protected, and exhilarated at once. It was as if the creature was appraising her with those marvelous eyes. It was unnerving yet she felt life pulsing through her. For the first time in forever she felt at home in her body and connected with the outside world. She stood there heart pounding, a nervous excitement moving through her like the colors on the creature. She was a bit breathless under the creature’s gaze. “Beautiful” she whispered and the creature approached. Her heart jumped as it neared her. She wanted to touch, to feel, to experience contact. She hesitated. The creature flew toward her and brushed against her fingertip. Still she hesitated. Again the creature brushed lightly against her finger but this time she felt heat upon contact with it. She lifted her right index finger to examine the spot and the creature came to rest there. She felt its tiny feet clutching her skin and shivered. Her eyes were fixed on the living jewel before her, its wings slowly moving, its eyes returning the gaze.

princess hand 1

That day began a new chapter in her life. She found a new way to move through her world. She gradually began to work a bargain between the opposing forces within her. She began to unconsciously bite her lip whenever the call was strong in her. It mediated both impulses and allowed her to remain on the boundary between the two. It happened whenever she needed to be fully present yet not exposed. If she was working on or thinking about a problem intently she could be seen gently biting her lip as if to help with her concentration and keep her balance on that razors edge. If she was sweetly surprised or touched by some honest gesture her smile would be moderated by her teeth and a most dear and darling presence would exude from her. And at times, in the throes of some passionate endeavor, when all the walls are shaken to their foundation, she would bite down hard to keep the pure power of her heart’s exultation from shattering and tumbling the walls around her.

During these times the creature would visit as if called or summoned by her endearing and attractive habit. She would hold out her right index finger, and the creature she began to call Dragonfly, would alight there. Every time it lit on her she felt a slight burning on her skin, and over time there built up a little saddle for it to ride upon. For the longest time they were the best if not the oddest pair.

Through its enchantment the dragonfly helped the Princess expand the space where she could touch both the inside and out. She learned much about the inside of her castle and explored rooms she had forgotten about or never knew existed. She explored more of the outside world as well as the people in it. All the while she stored up knowledge and the wisdom her existence required. Then one day when she called, biting her lip and extending her finger, her friend was slow in appearing. Over time she had begun to outgrow the space she and the dragonfly had created. She had encountered a new boundary from which she could not move back but did not know how to move forward. She felt frightened and trapped. And it seemed that just as she needed her friend’s help the most it was no where to be found. A rush of emotions flooded her. Sadness, anger, longing, fear, all competed for dominance. She struggled to balance them once more. One after the other would arise and push or pull her toward one extreme and then the other, a retreat back into her secure walls or an impulsive rush into freedom and the unknown. The tension mounted and the pressure increased. It was as if she was smothered and ground down between them and would be forced to bridge the two if she were to survive. She felt as if she would soon be torn apart but something in her rebelled and she held her place determined to stand her ground. She was weakened and she felt her strength failing. And in that awful crucible, just as her last effort ceased, something unforeseen occurred. As her final reserve of strength left her something new sprung from its ashes.

A strange thought began to take shape in her mind. It was new and radical to her experience. She unclasped clinching hands and released her hold on all these forces and circumstance she had sought to control and keep at bay. As she let go an oppressive weight lifted from her. She felt her back straighten and her shoulders lost their slump. With a clam strong voice she said “Enough.” She had decided. She had decided to decide. And as she lifted her gaze she saw there hovering just in front of her, her friend watching her with those enchanting eyes. She held out her hand offering her finger with its now familiar resting place expecting to resume their warm rapport. But the Dragonfly flew past her outstretched hand and landed on her lips, its colors joyous, exuding love. She felt strangely warmed, connected, and at peace. The Dragonfly then left her lips, hovered in front of her beaming face, gazed at her through loving, happy, and approving eyes, then swiftly turned and flew away. And that was her first Dragonfly kiss.