Chasing the Dragon

Last night (some seven years ago at the timing of this post) I watched a movie that I longed to watch for a very long time, having heard about it from all sorts of different people, in varying ways.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

See it was at the end of a long but satisfying day spent doing things I enjoyed, tending to my newest interest, biking, and I was sitting on the couch in the living room after a long and relaxing bath, when the ad came on that the movie was about to start in a few minutes’ time. My heart actually skipped, that’s how excited I was to find that, at last, I’m actually going to have the opportunity to see this, and purely by apparent coincidence!

When I finally got round to watching it though, it turned out to be completely different to what I expected, but in a good way. The eastern way of storytelling always seems to exceed my expectations.

See I knew of course that it was going to contain most of the usual elements typical of an eastern movie that I love, based around the background of some form of martial arts practice, with some philosophy and possibly a bit of romance in between. But I was surprised, albeit pleasantly, to find just how exquisitely put together this movie really is, and just how touching the romance hidden beneath the storyline, turned out to be.

If you have any inclination or liking toward romance in even the slightest sort of way, I urge you to make a plan to see this movie. It’s a superb classic!

But enough of the marketing. The reason I’m writing about this is not so much about the quality of the cinematography employed in this movie, albeit superb – I would be able to go on and on about the details of just what makes this such a great movie, and why it appeals so much to me personally in ways other than what I’m about to tell – but more about what it made me realize about myself.

See I’ve always known myself to be quite an emotional type of fella, more so than most, and often more than is comfortable in the circles of South African manhood, but through this movie I’ve realized just how fond I am deep down of romance too.

Actually it’s more a case of remembering rather than realizing, because if I have to think about it, it makes me remember a time when the highlight of my day was when the bell rang for school to come out and we could grab our bags and mozie on back to the bike-parcade, making our leisurely way back home for the afternoon.

It made me think back to these days, when I would pretend to be doing homework in my room, but instead I would be writing love letters to a girl that probably didn’t even know I existed, a girl that, in my adolescent mind, embodied a true angel through her pure and innocent beauty…

We’ve all been there. Our hearts trapped by the rapture of infatuation, skipping several beats involuntarily every time a mere thought of catching a glimpse or a smile from the object of our affection would cross our minds…then losing all sense of time in what seemed to be an eternal moment of utter bliss.

Unfortunately this bliss all too often would then be hindered and chastised by the deeper inherent knowledge that what we feel, what we yearn for, may ultimately be nothing more than illusion, a fanciful flight of the imagination. Then torture ensues. Torture that stems from want vs apparent reality. Yearning, chained by doubt. So we do nothing. Force ourselves to bear out the torture in the hope that it would just go away…and eventually, it does. Along with the bliss, and we become a little more incapable..

That’s why this movie moved me so deeply, because it seemed to be speaking to the inner youth still within me, remembering a time of forgetfulness and carefree flights of infatuous fancy, but at the same time it also speaks of the torturous tears shed in agony at the loss of a love never held, of failure, before the battle’s even been fought. It speaks of the prisons we create for ourselves based on what we think we ought to feel, how we feel we ought to behave, conditioned by years and years of sobering reality checks.

How many such battles lie hidden within each one of us? Dreams, waiting to be lived, calling on us, begging us to just go ahead and forget about that one thing that’s holding us back from really living, really flying.

How many of those battles have already been lost, loves slipped out of our hands before we could even grasp it, and all because of us? Because of fear? Because we think, we’re just not good enough? Not worthy enough?

Just how many opportunities do we allow to slip away out of our reach on a daily basis, because years ago we allowed ourselves to be told that we need to forget how to be a child, and grow up?

What’s your inner child telling you, right now? Does your child, like mine, also yearn to chase that majestic Dragon that is your dream, crying out to ride it, at last, once and for all, and soar across the skies of your imagination to distant lands of wealth, honor, respect, innocence, and true untethered love?

What is your Dragon, and is it still growling within you, calling you, or has it grown silent in the wake of your adult disbelief of miracles and fantasy, the things you knew to be true, when you were still a child?

Would you dare to chase your Dragon once more? It’s time to believe again, as you once did, because faith creates miracles…

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