October 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Peace is considered a quiet thing, like a particularly beautiful sunset – but it can also be loud, like a chorus boldly singing to high heaven. Peace can be a meditative, sit-on-the-mountaintop feeling, or the heady, centering rush that follows a 3-mile run. Peace can be a sleeping cat, curled up in a sunny spot. Peace can be the joyful peels of a child’s laughter. Peace can be a bubbling creek, a cup of tea, the mending of a friendship – or the letting go. It can be found in a kind word, a job well done, a stranger’s smile. Peace graces a spring garden and kicks up its heels in a snowstorm or a boisterous, pounding waterfall. Peace doesn’t fight; it calms and exhilarates. Peace is freedom from pain, worry and doubt. Peace reaches over and takes your hand; it delights your heart, and it feels right from your head to your toes. Find it. Create it. Share it. This is my wish. ~ Patricia Saxton
September 21, 2013 § 2 Comments
Dare to dream upon the stars ~
Dare to dream of peace,
From life’s grandest stage ~
fold to millions ~
Shining. Alighting. Dancing,
Through an endless velvet sky.
Floating in layers
of patterns on patterns,
Shades of bright white
In the blackened pool
Of an upside down sea.
Eternity’s dream catcher ~
Silver-rimmed storytellers ~
Architects of heaven ~
A symphony of light
Plucked from the night
For all time.
And wonders breathe ~
Inconceivable and constant.
© P. Saxton
September 12, 2013 § 5 Comments
You could, of course, live under a rock. That sounds uncomfortable though; so, no, that wouldn’t do. But with the world teetering on the brink of lord knows what evil, with clever actors paid to persuade us that we have all manner of ill-health and need to take X drug, with things like the disturbing reality that artist Damien Hirst is a really Big Deal and triple bacon cheeseburgers considered a healthy meal, with baseball heroes letting us down and the Kardashians worthy of conversation, avoidance becomes more and more attractive.
It helps to have a meaty project to get lost in. Say, an illustrated book about dragons : ), or creating the world’s best bread. (I’m reading a book in which the main character is a baker, and it sounds rather yummy, all that dough and kneading and freshly baked bread smell.) You could, of course, read, and then just keep reading ~ since books have a marvelous way of taking you places, away from the here and now. You could take up sky-diving or some other sport where there’s no room for thought beyond your own life flashing before your eyes. You could tend puppies or fill your social calendar with bunco matches (I’ve never played bunco – not sure if this is good or bad to admit). You could build something with your own two hands. You could sail around the world.
If you’re serious about avoiding the world’s troubles and other annoying things, whatever you do, do not turn on the tv. Avoid over-indulgence in social media. Stay away from negative people. Then, focus on the good stuff, no matter how small. Practice gratitude. Be kind. Because life is precious and too short to be fretting over things we can’t control. And just maybe it’ll all go away. Maybe it’s all just a ruse. Maybe whatever happens will simply happen with or without inserting our personal energy. It’s very hard, life. Why make it harder.
It’s not that I don’t care. I do care, maybe too much. It’s not about sticking my head in the sand. Trust me, I get riled. But I’ve realized it’s not my calling to fix the world. A friend, sure. Even a whole bunch of them ~ but the entire world is just too much. If only the world at large would stop all the fussing and fighting. If only.
And so, hours spent creating a dragon that will be part of a book that one day soon may be enjoyed by a fresh-faced, bright-eyed little person – maybe a whole lot of bright-eyed little people – seems a good use of my time. Not only that, you can’t think about annoying things when you’re making art. Works for me.
August 10, 2013 § 9 Comments
Did you know that shavings from a dragon’s claw can ward off headaches? And that the hard, shiny scales of desert dragons reflect the sun to keep the desert from burning up? And, how can you be absolutely, positively sure that all those gargoyles adorning the tops of old buildings are really made of stone?
It’s been a long time coming, with lots of starts and stops, (oh, and a little marvel of a book about peace in between…!), but my Book of Dragons is finally on the front burner, and the flames are hot.
It’s amazing what we learn when we walk through the “veil of reality” into a place most people think is strictly imaginary. I suppose it’s a little weird, but I’ve always believed that research pays off ~ so, if, for example, you happen to be making a book about dragons, it’s best to go to the source. Which I am, and am finding out lots of cool new things.
As an aside, a bit about process… Those starts and stops haven’t been for lack of interest, but for lack of dedicated time. The illustrations take many, many (many) hours to complete (this is after you’ve conjured them up, seeing as live dragon models are hard to come by), so are generally not something you can pick up on the fly, or finesse during the odd hour here or there. The writing, while much quicker, tends to evolve as you go ~ and then there are the edits, which can take longer than the writing.
There comes a point, though, when you just have to put your foot down, lay a few things aside (dust bunnies anyone?), say “no” to things that gobble up hours at a stretch, send your Wonder Woman cape to the dry cleaners and dig your claws in nice and deep. Before your publisher gives up on you, before all the kids waiting for the book have grown up, and last not but not least, so you can get to the stash of other stories and paintings and poems waiting in the wings. So if I’m a bit quiet here, that’s where I’ll be for a little while longer, immersed in the land of dragons.
(P.S. Dear Clients, you’ll still come first. Just don’t be surprised if some of your designs are singed a bit.)
August 4, 2013 § 6 Comments
Life is a bumpy road. That’s a given. Sometimes the bumps are molehills, sometimes mountains. But I’ve found that there are certain things that help carry me through, that go a long way in smoothing out the rough parts ~ things worth believing in.
I believe in magic. I believe in love. I believe that good trumps evil, that light is more powerful than darkness, that laughter is healing and a kind word can change the course of an entire life.
I believe in hope. I believe in possibility, and creativity, and the strength of gratitude and the power of thought and that imagination is boundless.
I believe that true friendship runs deep, and if you can count your most trusted friends on the fingers of one hand, you are rich.
I believe there are angels who watch over us and angels who walk among us.
And I believe that the potential for what may seem miraculous breathes in every corner, bold and patient and forgiving, waiting as a flower does for the right mix of sun and rain to blossom with new life, and I believe that each one of us has the ability to ignite that magic spark. – Patricia Saxton
June 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
A modest and unassuming tool, the pencil has witnessed global events, mapped grand expeditions, documented scientific discoveries; it has chronicled famous lifetimes and private journeys; it is an artist’s companion, and is ever patient in the hands of a child learning to write or a poet listening for illumination.
The pencil quietly observes, renders, and calculates, and from the slightest stroke to the boldest pressure, its touch can bring the magnificent and fantastical to life, leaping from a blank white page in great passionate detail.
With pencil in hand, stories are written, stars dreamed upon, ideas and equations scribbled ~ and its only vulnerability ~ revealing the pencil’s tender heart, and reminding us that it comes from Mother Earth ~ are the charcoal smudges made by the smear of a hand, or how cleverly it can disappear with a simple eraser.
A more loyal, trusting tool I’ve never known. Even if you break it in two, it still works! And, ah, what imaginative beginnings can be stirred by the humble pencil… a marvelous instrument indeed. : )
June 12, 2013 § 4 Comments
That’s an important sounding title, eh. If I think of a better one I’ll change it, but right now I just want to get on with it… which is, that certain ideas take hold in the mind, get tossed around and shared and pretty soon become part of a mass consciousness. Hearing, speaking or seeing something with enough repetition often becomes “truth” to a great many people. Kind of like how advertising works (well, a LOT like how advertising works), and politics (but I won’t, WILL NOT, go there…) ~ both are selling concepts, often cloaked in a happy disguise, to as broad a base as possible, hoping for buy in.
It doesn’t mean that these concepts are necessarily dark and evil ~ it just means that the thought form that’s being repeatedly projected has the opportunity to “stick” in our minds and become a “belief”. Once that happens, it can be hard to shake without something dramatic flaring up in our face, affecting us in a personal way. (The same goes for things we learn at home and in school, whether positive or negative, and while usually even more influential, it’s on a smaller scale, not a “mass consciousness” level.) And you know all this, but I’m on a roll, so …
Some people are content to go with the consensus, to follow popular thought processes. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not one of them. It’s fortunate, because it gives me the sense that I have control of my thoughts. It’s unfortunate because it can lead to too much “thinking”, which, trust me, isn’t the easy way to skip down the road of life. I can probably blame my parents, for the genetics as well as the lessons, because while I don’t remember them specifically saying “always question authority”, we were taught to “think for ourselves”. I’ve been a good girl in that regard.
Which leads to my positive dissent. Catch-phrases, meant to explain or alleviate our troubles or help us navigate to a more fulfilling life, can be powerful if they’ve withstood the test of time ~ but some, if not tested, can lead us astray. Like armchair psychology. It gets in the air, we start spouting off without having truly considered them. Again it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just that it can lead us on a much twistier path. Of course, we all follow our own path, and I make no judgment. Just my viewpoint.
So, there are two of these phrases that recently prompted this whole rambling essay I’ve embarked on. 1.) “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, and 2.) The idea that you have to be out of your comfort zone to experience magic.
First one. A friend posed this Coelho quote as a true-or-not-true question, and everyone was commenting with “oh yes, most definitely!” Then I chimed in as a dissenter. (And let me also add that Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of my favorite books of all time. But the notion that fear of failure is the sole reason for unrealized dreams just rubs me all the wrong ways). I don’t believe this is true!
There are many inhibiting factors, all kinds of blocks – intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical – real or nurtured – that can inhibit actualization of dreams, and fear of failure is a big one, but, in my opinion, certainly not the only. There are also lots of dreams that may even not be associated with fear or failure, just as there are those that actually have fear or failure at its core. Too many variables to chalk it up to this very common, and I think, easy, reasoning. I don’t buy it.
Second one. Yes, it’s great to venture out of one’s comfort zone. It leads to breakthroughs of all kinds, personal growth, opportunities you’d not have crossed, new doors opening, wonderful people and experiences you might not otherwise have known, and perhaps even magic and miracles. But do you have to go >>> over there to experience magic? I say no.
One of the most incredibly powerful actions we can take is to shift our thoughts. “Yea, yea, right”, some say – “that’s too simplified, it doesn’t take into account my circumstances and struggles and strifes; it’s not that easy. That’s a bunch of pie in the sky mumbo-jumbo, you don’t really understand how it is for me.”
Well, yes, it IS simplified ~ and that’s part of the beauty!
For the naysayers, I suggest trying it. Realllly try it. Miracles, magic, or wonderful changes (to keep it sounding real), can occur from where you sit. From a place where you DO feel comfortable, at ease and strong. You don’t have to go out on a limb and dangle with trepidation. You can do that too, and still get awesome results, but my point is that you don’t have to. You DO, however, have to change how and what you think. Thoughts, as I’m apt to say a lot, so forgive my chant, are very powerful. And just like collective, or “mass” consciousness, the more umph and energy and clarity and conviction ~ and the more repetition ~ behind a thought, the more power it holds. There is magic there.
And now I’ll get off my soapbox, but leave you with this, which I do believe to be true.
Choose your words carefully and think well! ~ Patricia
May 18, 2013 § 2 Comments
“I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.”
― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver
May 15, 2013 § 2 Comments
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso
It starts out when you’re small ~ imaginary friends to share your secrets with and mythical beasts under your bed, dolphins swimming on clouds, dancing spaghetti and talking fish…. and if you’re lucky you loop back around after you’ve grown up, after at least a few journeys into more serious, practical waters.
There are some who never wander far from that magical place of the imagination, but most of us stray. We twist and scuttle around winding roads of this and that important thing. The key is to not stray so far and so long that we forget. Because our imaginations are like beautiful shiny rocket ships, launching a thousand ideas and dreams. Imaginations make art and music and electricity and cures for diseases and stories that make us feel and think and grow. Imagination is liberating. It’s a life force beyond our comprehension – we have to use it to know it, and even then, just around the bend there’s always more marvelous wonder not yet discovered, not yet realized, not yet “thunk up”. Always.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein