The day I saw a dragon (spoken word performance)

According to Seo Dae-won, the first phase is the hidden dragon. The hidden dragon is still in the water, meaning that it is a period of unborn life contained in the water of the mother. This is an infinite space, a period of chaos in which there is no differentiation. The I Ching says, “Do not use the hidden dragon.”

13 years ago, so around 2006, I was a 14 year old boy. This was one year before the first iPhone got launched and the world we knew went upside down. Back in the days when I knew nothing. Now I know that there’s even more that I don’t know. My mother took me on a holiday to Finland. The country where my grandmother originally was coming from. She died long before I got born. She and also Finland are a void in my past, a part of myself which is somehow unknown, a mystery. 

Honestly I don’t understand nationalism at all, I don’t understand how one can identify with a geographical place they’re born at. Or their family is coming from. Identity without action, just belonging. This thinking often results in people, especially men, forming groups and furthermore exploit their privileges in the worst ways possible.
To summarise – fuck this. My identity is built through the people surrounding me, my education, emotions and experiences. It’s something to work actively on, not just something to be claimed because it is or was part of the surrounding you’re dropped into. Honestly I never really identified with Switzerland. I would never speak about “we” as Swiss people. Maybe because my friendship circle as a kid were mostly migrants, or maybe because I’ve grown up in a conservative, racist shit-hole of a village where I actually experienced xenophobia myself. 
However, the idea of having roots in Finnland gave me a feeling that there’s something else about my pre-past that I don’t know. It is a blind spot. Visiting different places and people in Finnland started to fill this void slowly. It wasn’t a feeling of belonging, or of complementation of my character, but a realisation that there’s something else then what seems to be normality in Switzerland. The realisation that reality is relative.

On our flight back to Switzerland I was looking out of the airplane window. Clouds, so many clouds. They looked like the fluffiest bed ever.
How would it feel to fall through them? We sure all thought of this at least once, didn’t we? Would you get wet?
While being a 14 year old boy, loosing myself in cloudy melancholic thoughts I saw something shimmering at the right end of my sight. Behind the wing of the plane was something unexpected. It looked like shining threads glittering in every colour, while flying upwards in wavy movements. It was gone in an instant. At this moment I was sure to have seen a dragon.
 
(Or did this just happen in the Simpsons? Maybe it’s just a reconstruction of the memory of the episode were Homer breaks a dragons heart, synchronised and multiplied with my memory? Reprogrammed recollection through media?) 
Fuck no, I’m sure I saw a dragon. I remember that I wanted to show it to my mother, who was asleep, but it was already gone. My rational mind told me that I was just imagining and that the fantasy of seeing something out there over the sea of clouds tricked my mind. 
Thinking now of it, the memory is very alive. There were some few moments where I felt an indescribable moment of evidence of my own existence, like being very present in my body at a particular place on a particular time. Seeing the dragon was one of those moments. 

The second phase, that of the visible dragon, is the period when the dragon appears finally. After a period of chaos, it is the period of the formation of the Great Opposites when day and night are created in the cosmos and all things are born in Yang and Yin. The I Ching notes that “as the visible dragon is in the field, it is good to meet the great human.”

In the third phase, that of the flying dragon, it is time for the dragon to fly up into the sky, the domain of god. Here the dragon has finished its preparation and it is the right time for ascension. 

2016 I was in Chicago for half a year. I came in June, a wonderful summer welcomed me, followed by a colourful fall, that I haven’t experienced like this before. It also endured much longer than in other years as if it were so beautiful, that it didn’t want to leave. 
Finally it happened – right when Donald Trump got elected. With him a cold and hard winter started. The cities social and temperature went upside down. From happy to frustrated, from 68 to Minus 22 degree (Fahrenheit). People became disconnected with each other, and surely I became disconnected with people. I nearly drowned in exams for school, performances besides and life. And first hand experienced problems with health and the horrible American health insurance. However, nearly at the end of my 6 month enduring stay I went to a blues concert my friend Lena from Paris. Hungover as I was I drank some water. The blues-band played in an incredible harmony. Their non-verbal communication was unbelievable. The music flowed through time and space and sent ones mind to a little journey. Meanwhile there was a a doll hanging grimly above the stage, looking down to the band. Changes in music were silently commented by the band members by a little smile or a confident face expression. The room was their. This was another one of the moments where I felt very conscious – I remembered the dragon. 

The fourth phase is that of the ascending dragon. This is the time when the soaring dragon reaches the limits of the sky in a supreme state, bearing a Chintamani. It means the period of expiration, when all things die and go back to nothing or chaos. The I Ching says, “The ascending dragon has remorse”.

So here we are after more or less 12 months since I arrived in Glasgow. I’m happy to be here with you all. The voices of our back-heads find together in this space, sing a wonderfully weird melody. 13 years after I visited Finnland with my mother. The void of my past and existential questions continued to disappear, or maybe just became less important. I guess that’s something that happens to many people that are getting older. Things are complicated, until they get easier for almost no reason. Or things just seem complicated. Or some things just are and stay complicated.

What’s a dragon? A mystical animal, a character of pop-culture, an evil being or a godlike creature? Well, choose your darling. The dragon in the cloud I’ve seen was connected to a moment of personal evidence. It was connected to the realisation that the soul is body, and the body is in time. A dragon right above the clouds…
How would it feel to fall through the clouds? We all thought of this at least once, didn’t we? Would you get wet?  
The last 12 months felt like a sip of water. So healthy, so volatile, so clear, so insignificant… but sooooo good. The word “dragon” is rooted in the term Dérkomai which means “I see clearly”.