Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chasing Dragons

A real Golden Dragon, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, March 2012

Dragons. Mystical, majestic, feared, highly revered, honored . . . My fascination of them have grown ever since my imagination started to evolve.  No, I'm not Chinese nor of English origin where most notable tales of these creatures come from, but somehow their mythical existence have burrowed deep into my consciousness making me fanatical to a fault. Now I have a deep unquenchable thirst for dragon lore.  I find books, and movies, and pictures, and routes, and boulder problems named after dragons simply very mesmerizing and I'm simply spellbound to read, watch, and try.

Left:   Jade Dragons found crouched over on top of a pagoda around "The Temple of Heaven", Beijing, China,  2009
Right: Mountain Dragon over looking over his domain, Huguan Province, China, 2009

Left:  Sea Dragon, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, 2012
Right:  The tail end of a Huguan Dragon, 2009

My climbing and my dragons mended together early 2000.  I started climbing 1998 but only after 2 years did I gain enough momentum to propel myself with enough energy to rush in impetuously into the climbing world.  It's now 2012.  It's a Dragon year. The tail end is coming.  Once again, I find myself chasing Dragons.  The 12 year circle, as I've come to realize, is a powerful cycle.  Waves of rush and renewal fills much of the voids left by constant battles left and right.  You survive getting  flanked and sometimes it will leave you limping. The roar of the dragon resounds in my ears and rally's every fiber coursing through my body.  It plays like rhythmic music, taiko and shamisen, low bass pounds right through the heart, high pitched treble piercing right through the brain. The chase begins again, terrifying, dizzying but this is what I live for.  The constant struggle for perfection roots itself in me, crawls itself around me like the veins pulsing around my arms.  Beads of sweat will fall,  lungs will heave for air, muscles will spasm . . . but dragon blood renews fast, I'll always be ready!  

My "Red Dragon", Yangshuo, China, 2009
The tail end of the Dragon is coming. It whips and lashes out wildly. It will not be easy to predict where it's headed.  Catching the dragon by the tail is never easy.  Meeting a dragon head on, you just have to bait it to eat you up.  It sees you and you see it and that alone gives you a good enough handle to anticipate. The tail, however, can either destroy you with one sweeping motion or if you can catch it, can give you one spectacular ride better than any roller coaster ever.  That is the goal.  

A fierce White Dragon found in Vigan, Philippines, 2012

I will keep on chasing dragons for as long as I can.  There are those in plain sight and there are those that hide, you just have to search for it.  The best though will be the one which finds you when you least expect it.  The kind that reveals itself to you unexpectedly. . . surprisingly . . . freely . . . will be the one that would leave indelible marks on you.

Left:  Pearl Dragon, Vigan, Philippines,  2012
Right:  Rainbow Dragon, Mong Kok, Hong Kong,  2012

Left:  A Rain Dragon found dancing in the shadows,  Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, 2012
Right:  Clown Dragons playing around  Xiamen, China, 2012

Left:  A Red Dragon Ball, dormant at Xiamen, China,  2012
Right:  Dragon sentries at a pass leading to the "Temple of Heaven", Beijing, China,  2009 

A proud Stone Dragon perched over a tower infront of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China 2009

The benign Water Dragon at Changzhi, China, 2009

Left:  Enrique Caballero on "Dragon Shit", Wawa, Montalban
Right:  Miel Pahati sealing the dragon blood pact

An old sketch of what could be the dragon keep at Orpierre, France, taken 2008

Granite Dragon overlooking Barcelona, Spain, 2008

The Dragon Realm of China, where Dragons thrive…this could be what it's like soaring through the skies while mounted on a dragon. - 2011 

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