It is, I am told, the Chinese Year of the Dragon. My Asian friends sigh when they tell me this. Sighing Asian friends do not set me at ease.
I don’t know much about the Chinese zodiac, but given that it’s been around for at least a couple thousand years, I suspect that they’ve ironed out a lot of the kinks and are probably onto something at this point….
Ling, my Korean friend, told me that the Year of the Dragon is something to get through rather than something to really celebrate. This is not what I wanted to hear. Given that I rang out 2011 (the Year of the Rabbit) with a tearful and gut-wrenching end to my last relationship, I was rather hoping for a Year of Sunshine and Happiness. Or a Year of Puppies and Kittens. But it is apparently not to be.
Ling explained that the year of the Dragon is full of chaos and change and shifting. In her imperfect, colorful English, she described it this way:
It’s like the dragon is breathing fire and burning everything down and everything is chaotic and unpredictable and scary and then afterward, everything start growing again, and you realize that it all feel clearer and healthier than before!
It would seem that Ling might be onto something with this scorched Earth theory of hers…
As she was talking, it dawned on me to ask Ling when the actual first day of the Chinese New Year was… January 23, 2012. Quick check on my phone confirmed it: that was also the last day I spoke to James. The day that I told him to go away finally and leave me alone. I told Ling, and she beamed. “See?! Chaos, then clearing out and healthy!”
Perfect. So, apparently, this is to be my life between now and February 9, 2013, when we enter the Year of the Snake?
Because, seriously, I can’t think of anything I need more than a whole year full of days like January 23rd. Really. That’s, ummm, … perfect.
But, in fairness, I’m not in this boat alone, it would seem; no, the Chinese zodiac apparently did not single me out for this form of chaos torture. I am watching the world around me and see people — friends, acquaintances, strangers — tossed about by shifting winds (some not metaphorical) and the vagaries of fate. I can’t even count anymore how many times in the last couple of weeks someone has uttered the phrase, “I just didn’t see this coming…” to me. That damn Dragon is plenty busy….
When I hopefully asked Ling if there was anything I could do to avoid all the chaos and just get to the new growth stage, she cheerfully responded, “No! Have to have the chaos to have the clearing!”
So, here’s to the Year of the Dragon, and all the apparent chaos it brings with it. My plan is to hang on tight and see what’s not charred or trampled or simply blown out of my life at the end of it.
But I’m still wondering when the Year of Puppies and Kittens is… Anyone?