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Lions Roar : September 2019
of semi-mangled notebook paper, or an intricate Lego creation winging its way across the house, body held aloft by my son’s small, steady hands. Each time I discover another one of these creations, I’m reminded that dragons can have profound significance. While living in Japan, I learned that dragons symbolize clarity, truth, and enlightenment, and that gives me pause every time my son’s favorite mythical creature appears. It’s like a bell ringing in I DON’T KNOW WHEN my ten-year- old son’s obsession with dragons began, or why. What I do know is that I will encounter those fierce and powerful beasts at some point every day—be it an in-progress drawing tucked between the pages of a book, or an epic battle written out in harrowing detail along the lines THIS DHARMA LIFE How to Draw a Dragon TRACY FRANZ learns from her young son that mistakes and bad starts don’t matter. If we engage wholeheartedly, we’ll always capture the dragon. a quiet room—it brings me to the pres- ent moment. It makes me pay attention. A couple of weeks ago, when I went to pick up my son from his after-school program, I discovered him leading a group of his peers in an impromptu art lesson. I stood in the doorway and watched as one of the program leaders helped him tape a big piece of paper to the wall next to a picture of a winged dragon that he’d drawn at home the day before. Eight or nine children sat at desks TRACY FRANZ is the author of My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk’s Wife in Japan. ILLUSTRATIONBYCORMACFRANZ LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 17