"There is Life in every breath...That is, Bushido."
-Katsumoto from THE LAST SAMURAI
"Samurai." The voice was water pouring over steel. The young black wolf turned around to face the source of the spoken word. He smiled when he saw her blue and white face smiling back at him, her hair untied and dancing in the wind, not pulled back and tamed like the lockes of other women.
"So you have come to see a Samurai off to war," Ragnarok said, a smile across his fangs. "Very odd gesture for Shinobi."
Okari smiled and closed her eyes. "What is a Samurai without his Master? What is Shinobi without his honor? I see little difference other than oath and coins." Her golden eyes flashed open to meet his, one green, the other blue. "Besides, I like to think of my past as that of a Ronin...not Shinobi."
Ragnarok smiled at that. There was still much strength in her frame though she no longer struggled to play the part of a woman. He longed to tarry with her there in the garden but knew in his heart that it would only hurt more if he did. Stepping closer, he asked of her the answer that hung in the air, "What brings you here to say goodbye?"
Okari laughed and reached both hands out, making a gentle bowl with her hands. Puzzled, he watched her eyes as they drifted into the cherry tree branches above their heads. A Nightingale flew into the white palms and started to sing its strange little song. "I come to remind you that death is the price of Bushido, but life is the reward. Seasons come and go, things die, other things are born, but some things always remain the same."
He reached out his hands to tentatively touch hers, amazed that the wild bird did not fly off at the sight of his larger, calloused paws. "I have lived a lifetime in my journeys, young Samurai. Many of those days were spent caring more about death than life, so much so that the song of the Nightingale was not heard by my ears." Regret shined in her eyes. "Remember always its song. The song of life and rebirth...of promise not fear."
A mixed media commission for
of his black wolf character, Ragnarok, with my akita/wolf hybrid, Okari. This has truly been a labor of love, and I really think it's my best piece yet.
Background is done in watercolor and india ink with a few gel pen highlights. Characters are done with prismacolor pencil and gel pen.