I dreamt last Friday night of dragons and the dream has stayed with me. In the dream they first appeared as yellow light behind blue-grey clouds. The dragons in my dreams were hungry, fire-breathing dragons that came out of the clouds to chase and devour people. They chased me to the foundation of the house that I was in and there were small dead mice and things hidden in deep dust. The dust was disturbed and things found beneath the foundation of the house.
It struck me that this was a strange mixing of Eastern and Western dragons. Eastern dragons tend to be very benevolent and wise. They do not breathe fire and only attain their wings after living a thousand years. They do move from cloud to cloud or they live in the sea and can cause floods if they have been slighted.
Western dragons tend to be a bit brutish and dumb. At best they are anti-social and bad tempered. They live in caves and hoard gold and strike out against humans who conquer them.
But this dream featured fear and threat, but things were found. Revealed. I am not sure what insights I may get ultimately from this dream, but as is often the case things fall in the between areas. While there may have been fear, I survived in the dream and found things. The dragons were brutish, but they illuminated the clouds and pushed me to find the things. Perhaps wisdom will come. The dragons fell in an ambiguous area between East and West.
I have been thinking about this in relation to stories and storytelling. Ambiguity allows an exploration of both sides of a theme or a position. Curious elements that defy instant stereotyping challenge a reader to know what they are– they cannot be easily dismissed. Going beyond mere novelty and into the realm of challenging people to figure out the puzzle of a character and their situation while still giving enough for the reader to empathize and identify with the character strikes me as a way to hook readers into a story and have the story stick with them.
Like dreams of dragons.