What is a Dragon?
The word "Dragon" conjures up many different images and feelings in different people... some good, some bad. Interestingly, just about every country in the world has stories of large/small, smooth/hairy/scaly, hot/cold, beautiful/ugly dragon-like creatures. Don't all these stories and descriptions conflict with each other? How can there be a living creature, or even a species, that has such varied characteristics? Maybe... maybe not. I feel strongly that each person is entitled to his/her own view on dragons, therefore what you read here are my own beliefs on what a dragon is. You are free to enjoy my views, or disagree. Just be aware that they are deeply rooted in my psyche and cannot be changed. They are inextricably woven into my understanding of the way the universe works. Also note that this web site is not an encyclopedic listing of all dragons, their eating habits, and physical characteristics... that kind of "information" you can find elsewhere (see the links at the end of this page.) Instead, this page intends to take you on a journey of thought-provoking connections... Dragons with an Eduardian twist, if you will.
Weyr do They Live?
For the pun-initiated, by the way, a "weyr" is a common name for a dragon's cave or lair. As mentioned above, dragons have been sighted and written about for thousands of years, just about everywhere in the world. They seem to enjoy remote areas just out of range of people, keeping a politely safe distance, but always around. There are mentions of water dragons, land dragons, and dragons that seem to appear and vanish in the skies. There is even a constellation of stars in outer space that carries the ancient name "Drako". It seems that they must live in some place between reality and fantasy, popping into our lives to stir things up, and then dissolving into some unknown "wyrmhole", to return to their own world or dimension until they are called on again, or until they are just bored and need a good smirk.
What do They Do?
Dragons are often connected, at least in Western Culture, with fighting, chaos, destruction, lust, greed... all things that people secretly enjoy but will not admit to. This probably accounts for the seemingly mutually exclusive feelings of abhorrence, terror, and disrespect, along with fascination, adoration, and reverence that people have for these creatures. They are very good at protecting valuable things (people and treasure), and just as good at destroying things. People see no logic behind when dragons protect and when they destroy. It often seems completely random. However, I must point out that there would seem to be just as little logic behind why the life of a sweet intelligent caring young boy or girl is destroyed by a drunk driver. Our lives are filled with incredibly unbelievably lucky coincidences, and just as many shocking devastations. C'est la vie.
What do They Look Like?
That's a silly question, much like asking what God looks like. However, people will do their best to depict what dragons might look like when these creatures poke themselves into our universe for a visit. I too have enjoyed sketching what I envision various dragons might look like, and there are a few of these sketches below. Remember, this is a peek into my mind. Your imagination may vary.
An early surreal sea dragon pencil drawing, sketched when I was 17.
DrakCircle - A recent logo I designed and later sold to Dragon's Lair Coffee Farm.
"There really is life before that first morning cup of coffee, but I don't think you want to see it!"
Humorous smirky self portrait.
Glowing candles are made in their likeness...
Yes, there are even Beanie Baby(tm) Dragons...
The Japanese and Chinese use the same character/symbol for Dragon, shown above in handwritten and typeset style. The pronunciation differs, however and is difficult for Westerners to say properly. In Japanese it is pronounced "Ryuu" (R and Y squished together and a long U sound), and in Chinese, "Lung" (halfway between the English words "Long" and "Lung".) Many thanks to Mihchyn Kong for the above handwriting, and to Apple Computer, Inc. for the "Japanese Language Kit" software, allowing me to generate the typeset Kanji character.
The Chaos/Fractal Connection
And now for something completely different, until you start thinking about it sideways, and begin to see between the lines.
More information may be drifting in here soon, tying together elements of scale in the universe... scale... dragon... hmm... I love the English language :-)
Dragon Seeds - The Stories
Click here to read a fanciful collection of short stories about dragons, written as a collaborative writing experiment with a bunch of my friends. The project idea was unique and fun to pull off, and I feel that my friends and I came up with quite an interesting mix of stories.
The Sky is the Limit
Finally, I'll leave you with a poem I wrote long ago, related to all of this in yet another tangential way.
The sky is the limit
Written January 1980
More Information on Dragons
Here be Dragons! is probably one of the more complete and interesting sites on dragons. There is a nice section describing the wide variety of dragons. From here, you should be able to explore links for months...
Ruth Thompson has some very nice fantasy images of dragons scattered through her laser prints on her web site, which you can buy prints of.
Draconic, For Dragons By Dragons is an interesting jumping-off point for various poetry, essays, art, and discussion.
The Alt.Fan.Dragons site looks like a pretty wide assortment of links to IRC chat channels, MUDs, merchandise, web-rings, etc... although the webmaster needs a spell-checker :-)
McCaffrey, Anne - Any of the DragonRiders of Pern novels..
le Guin, Ursula K.; The Earthsea Trilogy;
Prelutsky, Jack; The Dragons are Singing Tonight; 1993; Greenwillow - Wonderful book of dragon poems for adult and child dragon alike.
More Information on Fractals and Chaos
Very good Macintosh shareware fractal image generator, and rich galleries and links.
Stunning gallery of fractal images, retouched to enhance their inherent artistic beauty.
Another nicely artistic twist on fractal images, and some fractal music.
Macintosh Fractal Software to download at a University of Michigan FTP mirror site.
There are also many fractal programs at the simtel FTP mirror site.
Search here to find the Top 25 entries for Windows Fractal Software at the C|net Virtual Software Library.
Here's a good Tutorial on Fractals, and also lists a ton of Macintosh fractal and dynamical systems software.
James Gleick, James; Chaos : Making a New Science; 1988; Penguin USA
Pickover, C; Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty; 1990; St. Martinís: New York
McGuire, Michael., Mandelbrot, Benoit; An Eye for Fractals : A Graphic and Photographic Essay; 1991; Perseus Pr.
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Last modified: 2006-08-19