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November 9th, 2007
02:06 pm
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Here's one for the Friday night crowd
Please indulge my curiosity on something ...

If I had never presented myself as a dragon -- if there was nothing to indicate my species identity anywhere online -- and if I mentioned one day that I'd discovered my true inner species, what would you guess I am?

No right answers* or wrong answers**; I'm just wondering how I present. Explanations welcome but not necessary.

If you ask, I'll answer the same question for you.

--
* This is based on a similar thread in a friend's journal. But mine is totally hypothetical.
** If you really can't see me as anything besides a dragon, that's OK too. But explain why. :-)

Current Location: ~spiral
Current Music: "The Dragon's Daughter," David Lanz
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From:ceruleanst
Date:November 9th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
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Well-spoken ambassador of magic and reason. I'm afraid dragon is it.

Edited at 2007-11-09 10:42 pm (UTC)
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 06:54 am (UTC)
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I keep coming back to this, shaking my head and grinning, and trying to figure out how you got that stated so eloquently in a mere dozen words. Thank you.
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From:baronlaw
Date:November 9th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
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A very interesting question, not sure if I have had enough contact with you to determine the answer but I am willing to try.

I think upon reflection that I would have guessed a Gryphon.
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From:baronlaw
Date:November 9th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
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Oh and feel free to throw a guess at me. ;)
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From:pathia
Date:November 9th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Your name alone is dragony to me, and you struck me as such before I even know it was you at FC. The 'tude you expressed was somewhat dragony too, if that makes any sense. I can't even really describe what it is, but there it is...!
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)

Dragon attitude

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Well, I do make small children cry.

... No, seriously! Pre-verbal kids typically have a fear reaction toward me. With older children, it's mixed and more positive (although I try to avoid them; there's some gut reaction that kicks in). With adults, even as early as junior high people would routinely guess my age at several years too high, and I've been told I seem older/mature all my life.
From:premchai21
Date:November 10th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
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It's a little too intertwined at present to even generate the relevant hypothetical context.

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From:arethinn
Date:November 12th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)
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IAWTC. My brain refuses to disentangle the identities.
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
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Interesting response; thank you. I do have the same sort of erratic schedule, active/mellow swings. It feels really strange to me to describe myself as social, but I suppose in the right contexts (like LJ) I can get into the mood.

Hopefully I'm not so profoundly misogynist as the original. :)
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From:packbat
Date:November 10th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
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To be honest, I'd probably just stare in blank incomprehension. I'd have believed dragon or owl if you told me, though, I think – you're very thinky, as Elf would put it.

(Whoa, comment editing! Rock!)

Edited at 2007-11-10 12:34 am (UTC)
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From:soreth
Date:November 10th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
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Based off of your frequency of posts with content, the cheap joke would be anything that hibernates. ;)
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
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Now, that's not fair. I know at least one thing that updates way less often than my journal does.

... Unfortunately, that's my webcomic. ;-p
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From:nicked_metal
Date:November 10th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
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I don't look for dragons anymore. I've maintained for some time that knowing you're a dragon is morally equivalent to knowing you're left-handed. Worth knowing, but not worth a giant song and dance. I guess that these days, I don't really care about who is left handed draconic or not. So I had to look at your posts and study them a bit to answer the question.

Going by the stuff in public view, I'd call you just as human as any mammal. Going by recently flocked posts, I'd call you a dragon. The attitudes expressed and the mode of expression are both very draconic, IMO. (Perhaps the processes underlying the attitudes more than the attitudes themselves.)

How do I look?
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)

1 of 2

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Are you actually left-handed? Because I am. And let me tell you, knowing that I'm left-handed has seriously improved my life. I go out of my way to buy left-handed scissors and pens with good ink that won't smear as I write. I volunteer to open cans out in the wilderness (because, for some completely inexplicable reason, the can openers on swiss army knives work much better for southpaws). I'm conscious about where I sit around tables so that I don't bump my elbows with other dinner guests.

Self-knowledge of my left-handedness isn't morally any big deal -- it has no large external consequences and doesn't make me a more worthy person. But I'll be damned if it hasn't made my life richer and more satisfying.

(If you think this comment is a metaphor for something, you probably have both a pulse and neural activity.)
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From:gavinfox
Date:November 10th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
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Probably whatever animal you used most in your icons! :D
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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)

GIP

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(Gratuitous Ichthyoid Post. :))
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From:hafoc
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
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That is really, really tough. I don't read clues a hundredth as well as I should. Stuff gets past me all the time.

Since you seem like you've found some answers and are basicaly satisfied with your life, I might be surprised to feel you felt other kinships at all. Then I'd probably nod; so THOSE are some of the greater depths I felt in you.

I do hang around with dragons, so that might occur to me. I might say wolf, there's a sharpness to you, but it would need a poise and elegance that wolves don't usually display. Mountain lion-- no, that has the elegance but also a secretiveness, stealthiness, I don't feel in you.

Probably my knowing you is blinding me to any other possibility, but I do think I might go directly to dragon. I think I'd say Chinese dragon, though.

Feel free to tell me what you'd think of me. But if it's a liver fluke, I don't want to know. :D

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From:baxil
Date:November 10th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
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If I couldn't say dragon (per the thread above), I think I would lean toward bear. You're a creative soul (and if you've ever been to Yosemite and seen what lengths people have to go to to keep their food safe, you'll know what I mean), protective of your close ones, have a perseverance I can't hope to match with your writing projects, and have the capacity for great bluntness when the situation requires it.

> I don't read clues a hundredth as well as I should.

Don't feel bad. I can't be the only one who remembers my gaydar malfunction. ]B=8)
From:raki
Date:November 10th, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
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Well, I think of 'dragon' as a meta-category as broad as 'human' and just as vague, but definitely discernable.

I'd go with cetacean, a toothed whale or a dolphin. Something about migratory flows, tides, and all that diving.
From:raki
Date:November 10th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC)
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Um, more on that first point...

I guess it's just built into everyday awareness, like skin, feet, bones, and other ordinary features of perception. I often don't notice that I'm managing a 'draconic' trait until I wonder why something that comes easily to others is counterintuitive to me, or what that niggling feeling is.

Other people -- both human- and other-bodied -- fit into the broad 'dragon' category, but I wouldn't say what classifies a person as such is so much a mentality or a physicality, as a kind of sub-conscious awareness/perception that's about as natural as sight and smell. Dragons are normal to me. In that left-handedness sense that Nick mentioned.

But if I could get something from being around other dragons, something I really needed -- which I still believe I could, given the right circumstances -- then it'd be more significant than left-handedness, although less significant than, say, a disability. Human-bodied dragons haven't yet put together a culture that fulfills my draconic needs, though.
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From:jolantru
Date:November 10th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
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Something flowy but *sharp* (as in intelligent) - shark- purposeful.

How about me? :)
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From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)
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I don't feel like I know you well enough to say with any authority -- but if I couldn't say wolf, I'd probably go with hawk. You have a predatory edge about you, but you seem to be very precise in your writing style and thought patterns -- swooping and striking on ideas, rather than toying with them for ages as I do.
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From:a_rowan_dryad
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
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I don't know you all that well I admit but I would go with either dragon or gryphon. I say this only because you are whiplash smart, amusingly tolerant (at times) of creatures who are not at learned as you are, willing to teach those who ask. You are approachable but not overly fluffy cuddly like a cat. There is a strength to you that I can not even begin to place my mental finger on how I know this but I do.

Feel free to comment on me if you like.
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From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 09:13 am (UTC)
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If I were guessing, I'd say something of the penguin. I also see that sense of strength in you -- more accurately, the sense of self-sacrifice -- and the strong focus on family.
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From:natetg
Date:November 10th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)

True inner species?

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"...
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
..."
- Max Ehrmann "Desiderata"

The notion of 'true inner species' doesn't really make sense to me, and I'm reluctant to apply lables that I don't comprehend. So, naturally, I'm curious what you'd expecy my inner species to be.
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From:baxil
Date:November 12th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)

Re: True inner species?

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I love that poem. :)

"True inner species" is something of a shorthand. Keep in mind I'm coming at this from the angle of the Otherkin/therian/dragon communities, where past a certain point it's just taken for granted that the person on the outside and the person on the inside can be different forms, and that there's got to be something to this phenomenon of species dysphoria if so many people feel such stronger attachments to the animal they identify with rather than the human they are.

The bottom line is that when, for example, I say "I am a dragon," I'm making an essential statement about myself; not that I'm a dragon in body now (thank you Captain Obvious), not that I was a dragon at some point in the past, but that the characteristics of my soul more closely match something I don't appear to be than the thing I do appear to be. One's "true" species goes back to that essentialist idea: if you accept transmigration and nonhuman intelligences as a given, if nonhumans can become human, then anyone can incarnate anywhere, and there must be *something* that causes us to align with another species strongly enough to override the body we're in.

(This is meant as background, btw; probably won't have time to get into serious discussion of it here.)

So in this hypothetical context, "true species" is just a guessing game: If I announced I wasn't human but instead was something else in spirit, based on what you know of me, what species do my characteristics most closely align with? When labeling other people, it's necessarily sort of superficial, but it's interesting to see what impressions people have.

I might label you, for instance, a porpoise -- smart, curious, and always on the move.
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