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Hmong Contemporary Issues
Hmoob cov Xwm Txheej rau Tiam no
Les Problématiques contemporaines des Hmong

How Could a Dragon Become a Princess?
Ua li cas ib tug zaj ho plhis tau mus ua huab tais ntxhais Nkauj Ntxawm?

by Kao-Ly Yang

From my shy high school years to my lonely university days, I read Rainer Maria Rilk, as a way to strengthen my thrilling will to grow into maturity, ...and become a person at heart, true to my desires, dreams, and possibilities.
It was worthy to patiently wait.
As years fly irreversibly, my dragon finally awoke, chanting his magic song to the sky, and traveling through mountains and valleys.

..."We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. (…) But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished the existence of the individual (...) But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live a relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence. (...) We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us.  Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment of our lives are princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."

Rainer Maria Rilk (German poet) : "Letters to a Young Poet"

(Text reedited in June 2018)

Copyrights © 2005 Kao-Ly Yang
All Rights Reserved

There are paradoxes in life that one may not know if ... .
One day, all happy and sad experiences, all rich and pointless encounterings, all delighted and unfortunate events, ... all good and bad things will become clear, transparent, and distinct in one's mind.
Hidden behind terrifying and fierce dragons, were living princes and princesses, asleep, waiting for thousand years to take off their masks of sacred animals. The painful journey to make the mask fall lies in the process that needs favorable time to reveal one's true self.

Long times ago, I was also a teenager fearing fire and nolvelty. However, I always wished to be full of optimism, confidence and courage. I did not know how to proceed to reach such a metamorphosis.
Through a book, “Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilk, I found my way. He wrote to a young poet, who wanted to become ... a poet too: don’t be afraid of life because [all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave]

For a moment, I was questioning myself. "How could a dragon transform into a princess charming?". Dragons in all legends are majestic, extraordinarily powerful, somehow treacherously, always trustworthy. In the Hmong culture, they show lot of wisdom, detain infinite knowlegde about rites and human beings, and possess generosity. There were the ones, after the Hmong people lost their traditions, who taught them again  the wedding songs (Zaj Tshoob) in the Ancient times, back in China.

Over the years, this book, as a loyal friend, had helped me to see others and myself as possible princes or princesses.
In each teenager, dozes a prince or a princess to be.
On those adolescent days, dark, raining full of sorrows, torments and worries, remember the dragon that will wake up and metamorphose in a prince or princess. Until then, believe in yourself, in your infinite possibilities while growing up and experiencing the beauties of a mortal life.

Life meaning
Rainer Maria Rilk