Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dreaming Jackal

Before there was Dancing Jackal there was Dreaming Jackal.  He is a playful soul who has lived many lives and taken many forms.  He most remembers his human self, and uses those lessons he learned in his new life as Jackal.  Unlike his human self he takes nothing for granted, and unlike his dancing self, he waits for the perfect moment before jumping in.

The wheels are always turning in his mind, but he is steady like a wolf in his moves.

In his human life he took much for granted, but as Jackal he has learned this can lead to devastaing consequences.
He is wiley like a fox, but he has the heart of an old soul.

Sometimes he wakes from a troubling dream, is he human or is he canine?

Even the troubling dreams have important messages.  Jackal is smart, and he knows to heed his visions.

Each Jackal original miniature painting is for sale for $18 on Dawn Patel Art at

He thinks like a human, he moves like a fox... he hunts like a wolf and he laughs... well no one laughs like Jackal!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Story... no beginning and no end

The story I am telling with the Sentient Beings has no beginning and no end.  
It started sometime... perhaps when I was sleeping.  
It will end sometime... in a future that doesn't exist yet.  
So, like I said, it has no beginning and no end.  Jump in whenever you like.

The Seer.  In his youth he is a runner and a reacher.

The Seer is a Visionary with a third eye in his forehead, which makes him embarrassed and confused.  After all he is not living in a mythical land of Eastern Gods, but rather South Dakota.  At least for now.  He is not sure how he got there and he is certain he doesn't belong.  He has visions, but he doesn't take the time to see them clearly, he just reaches for relief and runs away from his fears.  So... in his youth he is always running and reaching.  I guess you can say at least he's moving forward... but at this rate who knows where to?  He could really end up going in circles if he doesn't slow down.

The Seer, in her old Age.  A cloud covers her third eye.

The funny thing about Sentient Beings, they exist in different realms, times and forms all at once.  While the Young Seer is busy sprinting to who knows where, the Old Seer is unable to use her wings and fly, and she is unable to use that third eye, because it's covered with a cloud.  Her life was hard, and her vision was clouded by pain, loss and disappointment.  She stopped seeing the visions when she started to only see the hardship in her life.

Eagle Eye see through the layers of existence.  

Just when you started to lose hope... in comes Eagle Eye.  She is a shapeshifting spirit who comes and goes from our lonely Seer's life to reveal a deeper truth.  Hopefully to shed some vision on the visionary so he can start using that extra eyeball and not become a hopeless old lady.  Eagle Eye flies above all the realms and sees through the many layers of existence.  Most of use see one, or maybe two layers, but Eagle Eye has seen so many he has lost count.  For awhile she thought there were 13, but she's realized it just keeps going and going and going....

What has Eagle Eye learned that can help poor Seer?  At the moment that's a mystery, because although Eagle Eye can see, he can't speak.  So... I guess they will all have to find another way to communicate.

Stay tuned... some more characters are on the way to help explain all this.  Infinity and Tree are not far behind.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Cast of Characters

You have already been introduced to The Introvert... here in his traveling form.

The Sentient Beings are a cast of characters I have been developing for years, I guess I can say my entire life.  They are all coming to life, together!  I am introducing you to a few more today.

Meet Grandfather Hummingbird

Grandfather's hummingbird, like the write E.B. White, has a conflict of interests.  "I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have a hell of a good time.  Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." (quote by White)
White knew some really interesting Sentient Beings himself, I hope Grandfather Hummingbird can do them justice.

The Snake Spirit appears in many forms, here are two: The Anhinga, also known as Snake Bird and the Winding Vine.
The Snake Spirit is a misunderstood character, but the Introverts know his true intent, because Introverts pay attention to the little things and are never swayed by a mob mentality.

Luna Bear dreams all day and runs through the forest at night.

Luna Bear is a dreamer.  He also has a fierce and protective nature with a gentle and nuturing spirit.  Spirit Bear sometimes fools people into thinking he's a scary beast, but he has to do that to protect the innocent ones who can't always protect themselves.

 Many fear what they don't understand.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sentient Beings: The Introvert

The Sentient Beings Sketchbook

At the side of my bed I have a little sketchbook I have titled "Sentient Beings."  The characters that come to me are from another world.  Some might call it the imagination, and some might call it another dimension.  I haven't named it.  But the beings are named "sentient" because I believe every living thing possesses a sentience that we as human beings are too quick to dismiss.

One of hundreds of my quick sketches of Sentient Beings
I believe there is a quality in all things, called sentience, an ability to experience sensations.  This is an argument for an approach to life in which all things require respect and care.

The Introvert.  He is the first Sentient Being I am developing into a character, using paintings and stories. 

So, I have decided to treat my own Sentient Beings with the care and respect they deserve by letting them develop into characters and be a part of a story.  I'm letting them lead.  I'm starting with one character and letting the story develop in its own.  The first character is The Introvert.

The Introvert travels between dimensions in a small world of his own, but it is full of treasures.

The Introvert is very self contained, and therefore able to travel easily between worlds.  He carries with him a rich existence, but is often tempted to stay there, in his little self contained world, because he has everything he needs.  Almost.

The Introvert is Duckling

When he first ventures from his safe little world of his imagination, he lands in a world with lots of water.  And he is Duckling.  He has bright orange galoshes and tiny wings.  His galoshes give him courage and his wings, although small and unformed, give him hope.  With this he ventures out, slowly....

Stay tuned.  We can find out what happens together.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


With an election looming it's hard not to think about values.  We are bombarded by ads which presume an emotional connection to our values that will override our commonsense and analytical processes.  Reading the news, scrolling through the Facebook feed, listening to the radio,  I hear many kneejerk reactions that reveal an underlying assumption: that we should expect to see our Values reflected in the world around us.  And when we don't we should be outraged, and look for someone to blame.

This leads me to wonder... how many of us actually live a life according to those values?  And how many sculpt our values to fit nicely into our life?  And what do we do when they (our values and our lives)  change?
When I was young I valued idealism.  Often my idealism prevented my from listening.  Life lessons have revealed a destructive side to that value. While Martin Luther King was idealistic, so was Adolf Hitler. (I can only hope it is obvious to the reader that one accomplished constructive change and the other didn't)  It is our human qualities, lessons and actions that take idealism on a path to constructive or destructive ends.

When I was young, the dramatic contrasts defined my values.  As I age, varying shades of gray color not only my hair but also my perceptions of the world.

The Grays:
Bill Withers, in the documentary "Still Bill" said this (more or less, I am quoting from memory) "What I hope for before I die is to accept everything"  His wisdom, and his beautiful music, takes my breath away

Yes, love.  Not the Romantic kind we fall for in the movies, but the simple, uneventful love that grows with daily care.

What I have struggled with so much on my forties... taking responsibility for your own life and resisting the urge to judge or blame.  It's work, but I think it is the only way to grow.  Every action we take not only defines us, it sculpts us into who we will be tomorrow.


Real change happens, but it's so slow we often don't notice it.  So we complain, give up and excuse ourselves.  Along with responsibility, this one has been the biggest lesson of my forties. Patience truly is a virtue, and by taking a breath and letting things unfold we can learn to treat our lives, and the world, with a more careful touch.

This one was a challenge for me.  I try to be nice to everyone and I aim to please.  In learning to assert my own personal boundaries I have also learned to respect others.  A greater sense of self is not equivalent to selfishness, but rather strength and real confidence.

Which leads me to the Center of the gray scale....
Trust (also known as faith)
Learning to accept and take responsibility for my life has given me a greater love, for myself and the people in my life, and patience, when we all don't live up to my ideals.

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