Here Be Dragons

I published a post in July 2011 on this subject. I decided to update it and use it for today’s post. I knew little about dragons when I wrote that post and know still know very little. But it is interesting, for me to note how myths live on and on, in particular the myth applied to early mapmakers.

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Lewis Carroll

Let there be dragons or anything else your mind or imagination can conjure up. We do have total and absolute control over our imagination.  Others can make suggestions as in when reading a book and imagining the setting but only we can use our imagination as we see fit.

Those of you very clever bloggers who write fiction, use your imagination.  My blogging friend Carl uses his imagination and produces very clever cartoons with apt comments accompanying them. Other bloggers use photography to enhance what is in their imagination and some of us just write.

Taking the dragon as my symbol for the imagination, I see that according to Wikipedia ” A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or otherwise reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures.”  That being so, we are free to imagine the dragon in any form we please.

Will it be

The Ljubljana “Dragon of Slovenia” via Wikipedia

or perhaps a fiery dragon

Illustration of a winged, fire-breathing dragon by Friedrich Justin Bertuch from 1806
via Wikipedia

or even the Komodo dragon which isn’t imaginary, or a dragon, but is  a type of monitor lizard

Via Wikipedia

Looking at that photo one can understand how people thought this was a dragon.  Look at the forked tongue.  That tongue flicking in and out could perhaps  look like a small flame.

So what’s in your imagination today?

I am imagining a sunny, summer’s day with nothing more to do than sit and read a book.  Or maybe a walk in the park or along the beach. Or I am imagining getting out my only just started novel and spending some time on it.  What will it feel like to go back to that?

Then my mind wanders to dinner and I imagine what I shall make to eat for tonight.

And the title of this blog?  Well, it is commonly thought that ancient English mapmakers placed the phrase “Here Be Dragons” at the edges of their known world.  Here now, is the list of all known historical maps upon which these words appear – only one.  That is the Lenox Globe.  The globe was purchased in Paris in 1855 by Richard Hunt, who gave it to James Lenox, whose collection became part of the New York Public Library.

And no doubt you all know Dr Seuss’ ‘The thinks you can think”.  My children and grandchildren all loved and I still love  Dr S.  And now I have passed on the complete set to my friend’s grandson. So

“Oh, the THINKS  you can think up if only you try!
If you try, you can think up a GUFF going by.
And you don’t have to stop.

JB May 7, 2022

14 thoughts on “Here Be Dragons”

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