I live in the clouds. Literally. Sometimes it is magical, like living in a floating castle high above the trees and fields and cars. Other times it leaves me feeling untethered, as though I might drift away at any moment.

If this were a fairytale, I would not be the princess. Not the witch or the toad. Not the valiant prince with his strong jaw and sparkling sense of honor. I would be the dragon. The fire-breathing dragon that occasionally burns herself and others. If this were a fairytale, “happily ever after” would be scripted in a special ink that only shows up in a certain light.


“This fuel creates a fire in us, a fire of all the vivid and intense pain held by the previously rejected aspects of experience. . . it is a visceral inferno.” – Reggie Ray

So what, exactly, is the fuel?

It’s a semi-viscous substance made up of extremely combustible moments. Every moment when I felt myself give up on a dream, each time I held something back from the people I love, each time I wanted to give myself completely over to someone, something, and couldn’t, every instance when I listened to the nagging voice of self-doubt, every minute lost because I let the blanket of insecurity smother me. Every time I prayed for a day to just end.

When you pour it all out like that, it looks like this fire could burn for a good long time.

Occasionally the stench of so much metaphysical burning is overwhelming. The scent awakens the beast inside me, and she is enraged by the uncontrollable, infuriated by the pain, even afraid of her own plunging sadness. She crashes through the brightest of hours, crushing the unwary with heavy footfalls, fiery breath singeing her own skin.

But even beasts must sleep. In her dreams she has visions of a love even greater than the pain – a love for the miracle of existence, for the magic that is life, and it fills those inner caverns where sorrow lives by day. It cools the fire and creates perfect balance.

When the beast sleeps and I am just me, a pale, skinny 34 year-old woman who lives alone in a house on a mountainside, who has a bad habit of wearing too-big pants and lives on all things microwaveable, I remind myself that this unpredictable swinging between the stabbing sensation of heart break and the tremendous upwelling of love for life itself is normal. Right? People get dumped every day.

Everyone knows dragons are unpredictable, but they’re also conscientious. If this were a fairytale and I was the scaly dragon, I would ask my human friends, nicely, without burning their tender flesh, to write a few lines for me in that swirly script of imaginary worlds and post a sign outside my door, warning unsuspecting guests and solicitors.

The sign would say something like this: I am the furied beast. I am the burning tears. I am the flames that lick the pain away. Enter at your own risk.


  1. I have scripted a sign for you.

    "Warning: the fair lady who resides beyond this door may inspire you with her thoughts, her words and her light. BEWARE: should you befriend her, some of your ideas about life, the art of being, may expand. The fire is hot inside, thus, people are bound to get hurt."

    Please construct two identical signs: 1) assemble the words out of rocks, and hang it on your front door 2) in your yard, plant the letters in dahlia bulbs such that pilots, birds, and other flight animals will be forewarned mid-summer.

  2. Thank God for sleep.....and dreams. Plus all the ones who really do love you 4ever.

  3. Thanks for the invitation to follow your blog. Your writings are beautiful Christie. Keep those words flowing my dragon friend.


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