Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warrior...Part III, from Songs for the Dragon King, by Vivian Hadding

"You don't understand."

"I don't understand what?" He demanded.

"How I feel. How much it hurts."

"Then don't let it." He stated flatly.

"Just like that? Oh, so easy for you." She cried. "You, you men...all of you so hard, so cold, so uncaring. You say you're my friend, but you don't know the first thing that drives me." She walked away from him again, so angry, so hurt, feeling so rejected. She wanted to run, scream, fight him, hold him...something. She was wound so tight she felt she might explode. She hated him for not understanding. She hated herself for feeling so weak.

"Take it easy Shulinn...breathe." He told her. She was making him nervous.

She took a deep breath. "Sure, sure Ikomorushi, anything you say." She let it go. It was no use. The only one that ever understood her was the Dragon King and he had abandoned her..He her best and only friend. She pushed him out of her mind too. She couldn't trust any of them...she wouldn't ever again.

He saw her exhale, shoulders slump. She seemed so small, so lost and alone. "What's going on Shulinn?" He asked her.

"Him." She whispered. "He's everywhere and I can't escape him. "


"The Emperor." She whispered. "His men, his spies...He said he would destroy me and I fear he will succeed and not even the Dragon King can help me this time."

"He's just a man Shulinn...just a man."

" " She cried. "You don't know him. He has stolen my land and with it my power. He is part Mahoutsukai now and even the Rei must obey him." She held back the sobs that threatened to choke her. Hot, silent tears began to flow down her cheeks. She scrubbed them off roughly, angry at herself again. She turned away not wanting him to see her so vulnerable.

"I try to be so strong." She continued. "I spar everyday in the woods. I try to prepare myself for what's to come. But its just a mask, some leather to bind my heart so it won't fail me."

"What is it you want Shulinn?" He was angry, confused.

"Want...want?" She echoed his words and a fresh wave of anger nearly swept her away. She did not understand her feelings. At the moment all she really wanted...all she really needed was for him to wrap her in his arms and tell her everything would turn out OK. But he didn't and not knowing how to ask him she squared her shoulders, turned and faced him, smiled politely and bid him good night.
This afternoon at home before work

Song of the day...White Balloons, by Sick Puppies

Monday, March 22, 2010

song of the day....Odd One, by Sick Puppies

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Warrior, from Songs for the Dragon King, by Vivian Hadding

She was sitting by the river folding her cloths. The sun brilliant in the west casting violet and crimson shadows over the trees. She stopped and inhaled deeply, feeling a little less alone. It had been a long winter and she welcomed the promise of spring. She closed her eyes and thanked the spirit of the ancients. It would be a year come summer since she escaped the Emperor and his men. She knew there was still a long struggle ahead. She didn't dare relax. She knew Lord Osamu had his spies about....those that knew her not, but had been taken in by the Emperor's power and charm.

She shook her head forcing thoughts of him out of her mind. He had never loved her. She accepted this now and knowing the truth gave her the strength to keep him from crippling her heart. She could see it all so clearly now...he had only wanted to possess her...keep her half alive...a puppet to torment and control. Exiled that's what she had exile from her own home....her family's home. She had given up everything, even her dreams...but she no longer cried. She was free. She had made it this far without him...without any man not even the help of the Dragon King.

The woods rang softly with the sound of birds, wings fluttering gently. Day creatures began to settle for the evening. She opened her eyes and stood, the rest of her clothes were still drying on a branch near the river's bed. She stretched her arms overhead, first to one side then the other. The wind joined her and she began to sway to its rhythm. She danced with him...Fujin, with him and for him and the Rei...spirit of the trees. She danced for all the ancients and her own soul.

He watched her across the river. She was graceful, independent, yet there was an air of loneliness about her, a sort of sadness she hid within her dance. She strayed closer to the river now...only a few yards away. He moved closer too, edging his way slowly, quietly towards her. Her eyes flew open and locked with his. She seemed frightened at first, uncertain. She shifted slightly ready to run or fight if need be. She was trying to decide, her eyes wide and honest, they hid nothing from his gaze.

"Who are you!" She demanded, her voice straining for balance.

"Easy" He answered. "I mean you no harm."

Wordlessly she swept her arm and a branch seemed to dip and drop to her hand. "You have not answered my question." She persisted.

"You may call me Ikomorushi." He stated simply.

She shifted slightly to his left. Though he was across the river she knew not what weapons he might possess. "What are you doing here?"

"I was passing through the forest to Yushinu". He answered.

"Yushinu is abandoned, even I know that." She countered.

"I have been away a long time." He sighed. He was tiered and not in the mood for this.

"Why were you spying on me?"

"I was not spying on you." He said flatly. "I told you the truth. Now will you let me continue or would you rather fight?"

"I will be gone before you cross the river." She stared at him coldly.

"And leave most of your laundry behind Mistress? I think not." He added.

"I've already lost what's most important. Is it your intent to test me?

He gazed at her again with more thought than before. He could take her and they both knew it, yet it would not be an easy win. She had the forest on her side... Amaterasu's priestess perhaps and he really had meant her no harm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One of four horses acrylics on plywood I was painting for a friend...that's me in the pink jacket with paint brush in hand.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Hundred and Ninety Nine Days, from Songs For The Dragon King, by Vivian Hadding

She could hear the warriors breathing heavily, grunting as they sparred with each other, even before she saw them through the trees. She had walked this same path for a while now, it was always the same even in the changing seasons. How long had it been since she first encountered them...It seemed like years when in fact only months had past. At first it had been so difficult to work among them. Even now she had to consciously slow her breathing.

She focused on her path, her intent. She would be wiser. She would heal herself from the memories, the fears of the Emperor and the Dragon King. The fact that they were all warriors was one of the main reasons she had decided to join, one of several inward battles that still haunted her.

She both feared and admired them and more...she needed them. Needed their strength, dedication and belief as an anchor for her own. She had been both alone and lonely for so long. She was determined to wipe the pain from her soul and move on, but first she needed to be strong. She needed to feel comfortable in the presence of men...strong, determined, spiritual men.

They still noticed when she joined them...some still stopped what they were doing and watched her work, but most left her alone. They knew she was a recluse of sorts or had become one...the result of many battles. They weren't sure what kind of war she had fought in, only that she must have battled for her soul seemed as riddled with scares as her body was of ink. She never said a word just stood quietly in a corner and began to spar. They caught her sometimes glancing their way, watching their moves and then applying them to her own. She was not like them, and yet she was not like most others either. It was almost as if she had walked between shifting realities, her own and trying to exist amidst those that populated their world. She was still clearly uncomfortable and yet they could see that she was beginning to settle into their space.. beginning to breath a little easier, allowing herself to relax a little, ever cautious, but more open.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quick sketch before work...Shulynn and the Rei from Songs for the Dragon King
by Vivian Hadding
Playing around with Hooch our crazy dog after work last week.
When the wind blows from the West I awaken
Then every breath becomes a song
Every stroke is sacred
Vivian Hadding