Dragon Common Room
I have my own Telegram chat! Think classroom/fencing salle/church, where Elves, Bears, Frogs, Professors, and other magical creatures come to grab a cookie (homemade!), read the latest posts from my Fencing Bear at Prayer channel, and talk about dragons at any time of day—or night, for that matter. A common room for dragon lore—and poetry.
We have a dragon! We spent last night training it to welcome newcomers and read them the rules. That took some doing, particularly training the dragon to flame anyone (a.k.a. mute) who attempted to flood the room with stickers or gifs. Because we want to have stickers, just not too many all at once. (No idea whatsoever who would do a thing like that! ::Hides mirror::.)
Now that we have arranged the furniture, hung a few pictures, and gotten the drinks ready, we are eager to have others join us. Will you come play?
The bout rules are simple: “Salute your opponent, wear a fencing mask, remember to laugh.” Telegram has written rules against porn, but the unwritten rules of chat engagement are somewhat more nuanced.
What is a good parry for “Ok, boomer”? What does it mean when someone calls you “bitch”? Do you have any non-boomer memes? More importantly, can you hold your own in a conversation about dragons?
I am working on a reading list now to provide a library for the Common Room, with instructions to follow on our program of study, but for the moment we are concentrating on reading a poem about dragons that my friend Cheryl and I wrote this past February.
The poem is an allegory based on the Song of Songs, with a heavy dose of Prudentius’s Psychomachia, but the story comes from our experience in Milo’s chat over the winter—particularly the emphasis on song. It is a rosary wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a battle with the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins.
A comedy with a eucastrophe. A love song—and a prayer.
I am posting a stanza a day on my channel (today was stanza 3) and inviting the members of the chat to comment on what they see. The poem took Cheryl and me places we never expected as we were writing. Already, in just the past three days, others have found imagery we did not realize was there.
Dragons of alchemy, the battle with the unbeatable foe, Christ as the monster slayer as well as the dragon bridegroom. We have talked about color symbolism, fanfic, and how every quest involves confronting one’s own weaknesses as much as external obstacles.
I ought to be taking notes, but the joy is in the play—the bout of ideas, the conversation of the bladed texts, the mystery of the symbols and the thrust of truth. It is exhilarating and terrifying. Comforting and fun. I have longed for a place to have these conversations all my life.
Look, here is today’s stanza. What do you see?
Come, the dragons are calling! Come to the Dragon Common Room, and bout with us! Train in the arts of virtue and poetry so as to make mischief and beauty for God. We fight the demons of ignorance, ugliness, and sin with laughter and wit.
Plus we have stickers.
Here’s how to find the Dragon Common Room: https://t.me/fencingbearatprayer/18420
For my continuing adventures in Milo’s chat, see The Milo Chronicles. For more on the imagery of the Lady and her dragons, see The Lady and the Logos.