My Dragon of Intensity


For Sunday Scribblings #239  Intense

I have often been told that I am an intense individual, and that I think too much. Both statements tend to confuse me because they are often couched in a tone that borders on disapproval. Reality is, I am given to introspection because I have an introverted personality with a streak of the extravert running through it. I choose to experience life on a deep level because I only have one to live and why waste it on a surface level only?

And by that, I am not saying that everyone should be so inclined. I often envy those who live at a lighter level, because deep can get you into places that aren’t easy to handle, or fun either. However, this is the way I am wired and it’s better to accept that than spend my time trying to be something I am not and never will be.

Thought seriously about skipping this prompt because of the personal associations I have with it. But, that doesn’t work. If I don’t deal with it, it will continue to haunt me through several days, and probably nights as well. Running away is also running toward. Why waste all that energy if I’m still going to end up here? Might as well do it and then be free to do all the other things I want to do as well.

For example: Tomorrow is the first day for the PAD (poem a day) challenge at Poetic Asides

The challenge is to write a poem a day for the entire month of November. That’s intense. I have done a poem a day twice before, on my own. This time I will be doing it with an entire community of poets doing the exact same thing. When I did it on my own, I did it for several months at a time, and found many rewards, even though it was an intensely involved endeavor.  

I did it by remembering what Robert Bly said when asked if the poems didn’t sometimes suffer from that intensity. His reply was that some days one must lower ones standards. I thought that was really good advice, and it worked for me. It somehow removed the pressure and I found that the poems I wrote during those experiences, are ones I remember well, and still count amongst my favorites.

That means that the last few days have been used to prepare for that specific challenge: clearing off my desk, letting people know that I won’t be so readily available, and getting other obligations filled so I don’t have to worry about them. Then went, last night to take a peek at the prompt for today, and ran right into that word: intense.

For me, the word means packed with meaning and emotions. Many times those meanings are in opposition and the emotions are in conflict. That is what makes it intense. Yesterday, I wrote a poem detailing a dream I’d had that morning while awakening. It was surreal, filled with the riddles that dreams often pose, strange visits from several people, and even stranger conversations. I like working with dreams because they are packed with symbolic meanings and often express deep and involved emotions.  They often provide personal messages for the dreamer, if that individual is inclined to explore those meanings and emotions.

I was pretty sure that my visitors (on my site) would have some difficulty figuring out what the dream had to do with the prompt, so I explained in my responses to those comments. And as I did so, actually found a great deal of meaning and depth within the dream material. Lots of things for further introspection.

Last night, to take a break, I watched the movie: How To Train Your Dragon. I had seen it before but only a bad copy and on a very small screen. And although the movie is couched in a great deal of humor, and animation intended to draw a younger crowd, I found a great deal of depth and meaning within it. It holds a message about how we need to look for similarities rather than differences. Something our world needs to be aware of on ever deepening levels.

But it also speaks to the ability to listen to others, especially those closest to us. We can’t, don’t listen when we are concentrating on the differences, whether those differences are between family members, generations, cultures, or nations. And most important, we need to learn to listen to ourselves. It is only by doing so that we actually learn who we are and what we are about.  

Poetry is often very similar to dreams. Packed with symbolic language that often holds messages about emotions and other realities. Both contain images deeply imbedded with associative elements which are stored in intuitive faculties, just as movies and stories do. My break to watch the movie, wasn’t really a break, just another step in the direction of that one word.

I like who I am and that includes my intensity about life, living, and the doings of my own mind, as well as others. I look forward to the coming challenge that will employ so many of my favorite activities and interests. When I think about it, it seems like the most natural thing in the world for me to do. And with that thought comes a sound. The dragon of my intense personality is humming, may even start singing soon. And I will lean in and listen.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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8 Responses to My Dragon of Intensity

  1. ana says:

    Perhaps you, too, have trained your dragon? “I choose to experience life on a deep level because I only have one to live and why waste it on a surface level only?” Sounds about right to me! 🙂 Good luck with the poetry challenge!

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you ana, and my dragons have trained me as I have them. It is a mutually administered relationship. And I like it when they hum and start to sing. I plan on having fun with the challenge and thanks for the well-wishes,


  3. Old Grizz says:

    good luck with PAD..I opted for the one book in November with “nanowrimo”.
    I think I would have been better doing th PAD even if I am a lousy poet.
    I’ll check in often to see how you do.

    • 1sojournal says:

      One of my former students just got in touch with me and she also is doing the book with nanowrimo, for the third year in a row. Actually was thinking about it because I have a couple of chapters already started, but I do love poetry much more. That may be an excuse, but it’s my excuse.

      Will you be doing this online? If so I’d like to check in on how its going for you. And I’ll be posting my daily attempts on one of two different sites:
      And thanks for the interest,


  4. Jae Rose says:

    Hi Elizabeth – I am so glad you did accept this weeks prompt. Given the clarity of this piece I feel you have been pondering intensity for some time. Seems like you are already listening to your inner dragon. Don’t tame it too much! Thanks as ever for your visit..Jae

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hello Jae, and the dragons and I have a mutual standing agreement. I let them be who they are, and they give me the same. There is respect, lots of affection, but also plenty of room for personal choices. And retaining some of the wild within is very high on that list of priorities. Actually, I think that essence of wild has a great deal to do with the intensity. May even be at its very core. Interesting avenue of thought. Thank you, for that one.


  5. Yes,” lean in and listen.” That is the “key.” It is the voice that speaks softly… murmurs, if you will. It is all here in plain sight. To remember, everything is perfect, a lot of our work is to “accept.” It takes work to be a disciple of yourself.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Oh Annell, I don’t think I’ve heard that one before: “Be a disciple of yourself.” Follow your own leading, learn your own words and then speak them. Tell your truth by using your own story as the parrable. Whew! I could go on, but that is fantastic. Thank you much,


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