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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Nan Gagnon's "Reunion", plus Jan-u-wine's "Across So Wide a Sea"....

Posted on 2006.12.02 at 06:10
Tags: , , ,


~ Greatly-reduced version of Nan’s “Reunion”.


In my last post I mentioned that jan-u-wine not only brought herself to visit me in the frigid North, but the two-panel oil painting she had commissioned from a fellow artist friend. Because I am always interested in seeing Tolkien illustrations, Jan had sent little images of this diptych in emails. I was intrigued by its imaginative composition and folk-art style, and wrote wistfully it was a shame they couldn’t be seen life-sized in person. Jan, in her visit, surprised me by giving me just that opportunity. She allowed me to hang onto the panels after she left, so that my husband could take some high resolution pictures of it. (It's since been returned to its loving owner.)

I didn’t say more about this painting in my previous journal entry because I wasn’t sure Jan or its maker would want to share images of it with a wider public. But I’ve checked with jan-u-wine who contacted the artist, Nanette-Rosie Gagnon (“Nan”), and they both are amenable to having the work showcased.

~*~


Jan-u-wine first discussed with Nan the project of illustrating her poem, "Across So Wide a Sea", which tells of Sam’s reunion with Frodo on Tol Eressëa, at the "Hall of Fire", a festive fan-event which preceded the “Into the West” party for the 2004 Oscars. She and Nan had met on the LotR-based Decipher board. At that event, Jan read the poem aloud with another fan-artist friend, Debbie (who has created LotR fan art under the name of 'Primmy', some of which has illustrated Jan's poems, of which she also is a fan). Jan took the part of Sam, while Debbie read Frodo's sections.

For the painting, Jan imagined a two-panelled piece that would depict multiple scenes from her poem, but in one visual sweep. Jan had seen this convention used in folk paintings. I am familiar with its use in religious art of centuries past, in which the artist attempts to tell a sequenced story in one picture. I have a copy of an early Renaissance painting, for instance, which shows God creating the world on the left, Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden by an angel on the right, with the various waters flowing out of Eden at the bottom. For her painting, other than specifying that the piece be done in a folk style, Jan felt that Nan should feel free to create her own look for the setting and figures.

~*~


The painting:

Once the viewer takes in the whole two-canvas painting, which Nan has called Reunion, the composition invites the viewer to examine it more closely, moving from left to right. The scenes correspond with the narrative in Jan’s poem, Across So Wide A Sea (posted after the images below).


Entering from the left, Sam on the Elven ship sails a frothy sea. Behind a scrim of swirling grey mist, Middle-earth is visible, providing a tiny view of the world Sam has left behind. One can just make out the Grey Havens and one White Tower; even Mt. Doom is pictured, although it is no more. Following Sam’s eye to the right, Eärendil burns like a beacon in the evening sky over Elvenhome, guiding the ship.

The eye follows the slope of the rugged, wind-swept land back down to the large gull with wings outspred, dropping down to smaller and still smaller gulls that wheel around Sam’s ship, now tiny, anchored in the mostly unseen firth. High above, standing upon the headlands, the solitary figure of Frodo stands and watches.

Then, without a blink, the eye is led to the right panel where Frodo is walking Sam up the path, now flower-edged, to the door of his new home, Bag End West. On the trellis around the entry, Jan pointed out, in honour of Sam's first child, Elanor (the Fair), Frodo has trained elanor to climb, the flower for which she was named.

Finally, the viewer’s eye rests with Sam and Frodo as they sit smoking their pipes beneath a star-sprinkled sky, the twilight deepening into night.

~*~


For me, this is a Tolkien-inspired painting of great charm, with an ingenious composition. My sorrow is that the panels are too large to present properly on a computer monitor. My husband took some nice pictures of them, which are better than what Jan had before, but a 16” wide monitor simply can’t show what there is to see in a 32 X 20 canvas. This painting’s power to enchant is in its detail as much as its overall design.

I have provided a number of life-size views below, so that the details in the painting might be better seen, but they do not begin to show the crispness of the brushwork, or the array of colours Nan used. I tweaked and twiddled with my digital copies, Nan's originals propped beside the computer monitor for reference, but I could not get the colours to truly match. I got the general palette, but not the the variety of hues and tones. But these copies will have to do.

Here is a link to Nanette-Rosie Gagnon’s other Tolkien-inspired works, but if the difference between seeing Jan’s “Reunion” in person and in a little computer image is anything to go by, the tiny images on her web page could not do them justice.


~*~


Note: jan-u-wine has received the honour of one of her poems, A Day of Rain, being selected for the November Amon Hen, a publication of the Tolkien Society. This is a real magazine, not an on-line journal.

Amon Hen includes a wide range of material from the humorous to the scholarly, from announcements and reviews to fiction, artwork and letters of comment. It also frequently includes an extensive roundup of other small press publications, and an updated stock list from Tolkien Society Trading roughly every quarter, with news of forthcoming publications. Any member of the Society is welcome and encouraged to contribute.

I love Jan's poems, as readers of this journal know. I read them more as beautifully reflective fics than as standard verse. Across So Wide a Sea moves me as deeply as her any of her very best. How she kept from weeping while reading it in front of a gathering of Tolkien fans I'll never know.

The poem is posted below the images.



~*~




Images of Nanette-Rosie Gagnon's "Reunion":




~ Over view of the two panels, each 16” by 20”:







~ Left panel: Sam sails to Tol Eressëa:







~ Right panel: Frodo welcomes Sam to the new Bag End:







~ Detail of mountains and sky in upper portion of right panel:







~ Detail of upper left panel showing Sam, with glimpses of Middle-earth behind the cloud:







~ Sam’s ship plying the waves, the little version of it drawing into the firth as gulls wheel overhead:







~ High above, Frodo stands and watches:







~ Frodo welcomes Sam, leading him to his new home, around whose entry elanor climbs:







~ Outside under a starry sky, Sam and Frodo sit and share a smoke:










Across So Wide a Sea

~ by jan-u-wine



*(it is said
that the last of the
Ringbearers
passed the gate
of the Sea,
sailing away
into the West)

* * * * * * *

It fair broke my heart
when my Rosie
left..

worse,
still,
worse…..

when
she went
where
I could not
follow,
then
I could,
at last,
follow you.
* * * * *

The years
have
been long
and
mostly
kind:

My Rosie….

Elanorelle….

All the
Flowers of
a Gardener….

The Shire,
blossoming gold
and green,
ripe
with more
trees and
bright
flowers
than ever
I could name.

There could be
naught else
to wish for……
* * * * * *

Sixty years…..

Sixty years
and more……

still,

sometimes,
in the silence
of the road,
I hear your voice….

sometimes,

when the moon
chances
to walk in water,
I see you,
within the tired
circle of my mind.
* * * * * * *

This home
was never
really
my Home.

Oddly lonely,
the ink-stand
and quill
rest
upon the red and green
of orderly journals
in the study's
muted
light.

Bright curtain's lace
fitfully
traces the winds
calm breath
as She searches
the bedrooms
feather'd silence.

A crackled vase,
its worn face
lined in sky-blue,
waits upon the
tea-dyed plank
of the table.

The last of the summer roses
rest sweetly
within its mouth.

She loved
white roses……

my Rosie..
* * * * * *

Frodo-lad
stands
quiet
by the gate.

My son.

Your namesake.

Somehow,
his head
seems always
in the clouds,

yet

I have made
certain
his hands
are anchored
to the very
rightness….
the strength

of solid earth.
* * * * *

I scarce know
what
words to say
to the lad
I shall n'er
see again.

The eyes
that fill with tears
as slow Elvish
words
of farewell
spool,
like silver,
between us,
are as summer leaves
upon a stream.

I cannot see him
for the pain'd
knowledge:

to go towards one
of you,
I must leave the other
forever
behind.

I do not look back


until


I reach

the very top

of the Hill.


The Row
sleeps
beneath me,

and
he…..

small……

so


small……


hand
raised
in soft star-light.

Farewell…..

my son,

my home….

farewell.

It is September the twenty-second, 1482.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Not all roads
are lonely……

even if
one is alone.

This path
leads
through a field
my younger feet
have known.

The fog's grey
shirt
embraces
a tree
whose roots
once held
two hobbits
bent
on aimless Adventure.

no
Fair Folk
journey West
these days….

and though
my road
now joins with theirs,
still,
I feel sad…..

sad.

Even now,
I cannot say
why.

It is leagues
and
weary
leagues
to the edge
of the Great
Sea.

There are
no smials
upon that drifted shore….

my
Elanorelle
dwells there.

She
who may never
seek refuge
over the Sea,
stays yet
beside it.

For me,
she has come
this far,

for us,
she will stay,
ever,
and look,
ever,
into the undying West.
* * * * * * * *

The ship lies
steady,
quiet,
upon the turning tide.

It is as if
she knows
my fears.

I kiss the tears
from Elle's
fair cheek.

With tender care,
she holds the book
against her heart.

She is smiling.

I know now that I have never been whole.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fearsomely dark
and
empty
it is
upon this great
expanse
of water.

The sighing
of wave
to bow
fills me
only
with a longing
for the soft feel
of earth
beneath my feet,
the smell of rich soil
warm
within my hands.

Like a child,
newly set out
upon a journey,
I wonder
how much
longer
this ageless
night
shall last.
* * * * *

The Phial.

The Lady's Light:

That is what it looks like:

soft hills
pierced
by starred
splendour -
pearl'd Light
playing like grey flame
over dreaming quays.

It seems
an eternity
before
the graceful
bow
rests her
head
upon the
sanctuary
of the dock.

I must
walk forward,
I know.

Never
in all
my life
have I been
afraid
to touch
foot
to earth.

Until now.

What if…..

what if you
are not
here?

The fair
Elvish voices,
which have
accompanied
this endless
voyage,
cease

Impatient
footsteps…..

a walking dance
whose rhythm
I recognize
even
after this long age,
stop a little above my head.

A hand that I know
as well as my own
pulls me
(again)
from a water'd berth.

What words
could
we ever
really
say
to each other?

None.

And so,
just for a moment,
like we did then,
we hold fast to each other
and tears of thankful
sorrow
fill the great gap
of time.

How different
in meaning
the words
that sing now
with soft
wonder,
with joy
upon my ear:

"I am glad you are with me…..
here,
at the end
of all things, Sam."

I am, that.

~Valinor, Home~
* * * * * *


Frodo:


It is different,
here.

Time
has not
the same
flow…..

yet

I cannot
remember
how else
her tide
might feel.

The very sunlight
fills me
with calm,
the grey storm
of the Sea
touches my mind
with dreams of peace.

The great wheel
of minutes,
hours,
days,

drifts….

a smooth,
veinless
leaf
suspended in
the crystalline river
of my life.
* * * * * * * *

A ship
rides
in the haven of the harbour,
white sail luffing
in down-turned wind.

Grey,
swan-prow'd,
she shimmers there,
like a pearl
laid upon
the brow of the Sea.

I smile.

A familiar shape
stands
sentinel
by the rail,
a roughened hand,
nervous as a
rider
upon an errant pony,
grasping
a silver length
of Elven rope.

Sam.

I have
so much
to tell him….

so much…

and yet,
nothing…..

nothing
at all.
* * * *

The rounded green
of the door
stands open
to the soft cries of mourning doves,
their lament
entwined in the faint
salt
of the Sea.

He is waiting.

I pass
through
the riot of
my careless
garden,
brushing
fingers
through the soft tangle
of amaryllis
where Bilbo lies.. ….

Odd….the lilies bloom there
as well….
their speckled gowns
lie
upon the sugared-pink-and-green curve
of earth.


My mind
fills
with thoughts
of him

and

Sam.

He will miss
seeing
again
the lad
who so painstakingly
learned his letters
so long
an age
ago.

He will miss
speaking
slow Elvish
and hearing
a shy,
stumbling
reply.
* * * * *

Soft sighs of
waves
hush
against sea-wormed
wood….

he stands quite
still
upon the gentle
shift of grey dock.

His eyes
are still
like sun-flecked leaves….

his hand
still
sturdily,
warmly brown
as it clasps mine.
* * * * * * *

There are
many words
as we climb
from Harbour
to Hill.

He tells me
of the King….

my Lady Arwen….

little Pip….

and Merry…..

Rosie and Elanorelle….


Even here,
there are tears,
even here,
I still taste regret.

We linger
among the trees….
bemusedly,
I see that he is naming them
In his mind.

his hand
touches
each,
gently,
as if they were
his child.

For a moment,
I am far away,
In pine-scented
forests
that I shall never see again…

his hands,
with knowing calm,
fall upon my shoulders,

his eyes hold mine
with steadying wisdom.
* * * * * * * * * *
The three Ringbearers:

Here,
in this
darkening garden,
a world and more
away from Home,
we meet again.

gentl'd
afternoon
settles to
lavender dusk….

Already,
we are silent.

Trailings
of the vine
that Sam
names
thatra untibah*
weave their
golden embroidery
about
our feet.

Smoke rings
of insignificant
magnificence
rise
like unspoken
words
into leaven'd dark.

Sam
has never been one
to insist
on having
a final word.

Sam,
like much else
that I have known,
has changed.

"Well,"
says he,
bright
tears
shadowing
the gentle
sadness
of his eyes,
"I'm back."




*from Old English: "there and back"





After Jan received the panels, she thought them so lovely that she felt she must put Sam's feelings at seeing his new home down….





How soft
the light beckons
within:

fair bows the round window
with welcome,
it does.....

Just the sight of the tender spill
of it,

the sweet trail of vine
laced about its curve....
star-flowers twined to night-fogged
rippled glass....

just the sight of it comforts me,
brings Home close to my heart.

And the garden!

all a-riot
with I-know-not-what,
roses strange and familiar,
sweet grasses and lavender
scenting the pearl-dusk air....

Elanor clinging to a hand-hewn trellis....

And you.

The same,
yet
different as well.

more quiet
(if such a more there could ever be)
yet
so free,

so light of heart,

it does my heart good.

And the dark gathers close about us,
(a kindly dark, this)

and the great cloak of stars holds us,
silent, together,

pinned to this place,
this moment,

this life,

this Home.





~ Mechtild

Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2006-12-02 13:12 (UTC) (Link)

Reading with Jan...

Hi Mechtild,

I was so happy when Jan told me she was going to get to visit with you on her trip to her auntie's home, recently. I didn't know she brought along the lovely panels that Nan painted, though! But Jan is thoughtful; it doesn't surprise me that she'd go out of her way to share something with a friend.

Jan thought I might want to add some comment about helping her read her poem at "Tolkien_Forever's" Hall of Fire party back in '04. All I can think of to say is that I am always honored when Jan asks me to particpate in a reading; I love her poetry. When I read it I believe that (if such a thing is possible) Jan is channelling Frodo's and Sam's souls, and I get to visit with them for a little.

Regarding my part in the reading, I am pleased to say that I delivered my portion without choking up, which can happen easily when speaking this beautifully poignant piece. I hope the emotion and meaning came through in spite of my decidedly un-Tolkienish southern accent.

In conclusion, it never ceases to amaze me how Tolkien's works continue to inspire so many beautiful stories, poems, and art by his fans; their creations then interweave and inspire each other. Its a living, growing thing, Tolkien fandom, and so beautiful.
Thanks,

-Debbie/primmy
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-02 13:37 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Reading with Jan...

Debby, how great that you got to see this post. I have heard a lot about you from Jan, and have admired your LotR drawings at your primmy gallery. How terrific that you were able to read this splendid poem before such a gathering of Tolkien fans and artists, and at a once-in-a-lifetime event. As for your Southern accent, I am sure that trifles like accents wouldn't have mattered. The poem's power is in the faithfulness and clarity of its eye for the hearts and souls of these two beloved characters.

You must be multi-talented, too, since Jan says your "Blues Brothers" number was perhaps the hit of the evening. You draw and paint, read aloud, and sing a mean blues!

While you all were celebrating in L.A., I was watching the 2004 Oscars on TV right here in our upper Midwest living room with the spots on the rug, glued to the set. But for me, too, excitement turned to euphoria then near-hysteria. Still... it would have been super to be there in the flesh. Wow. WOW.

Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-12-02 20:53 (UTC) (Link)
This is such a great LJ entry, Mechtild. *hugs you in appreciation*

I have been tearful many times, in the past months, over the beauty of Jan-u-wine’s Across So Wide a Sea. It never fails to sting (it hurts in a good way) when I read about Elanor and Frodo-lad saying farewell to their father.

I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like waiting sixty years to be reunited with a beloved friend.

I’m very pleased, that Nanette-Rosie Gagnon agreed to having her superb painting ‘Reunion’ showcased together with Jan's poem.

I have been enjoying it immensely. It is so full of beautiful detail, bright and happy colours and, of course, it illustrates two of the most beloved characters in literature.

Thank you for the close-ups, it’s a real treat to be able to see the brush-strokes. There is so much that can be read in this painting, so much that relates to the joys and sorrows in Frodo and Sam’s lives.

When I first saw the night sky full of stars I was reminded of the waters of Mirrormere but on reading I realised that I was looking at:

Finally, the viewer’s eye rests with Sam and Frodo as they sit smoking their pipes beneath a star-sprinkled sky, the twilight deepening into night.

* * * * *

And the dark gathers close about us,
(a kindly dark, this)

and the great cloak of stars holds us,
silent, together,

pinned to this place,
this moment,

this life,

this Home.



Thank you ladies for this beautiful moment in time. (((Hugs)))
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-02 22:35 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Este, I love all those parts, too! I weep buckets over the goodbyes of Sam to both his children, knowing he'll never see them again in life. But that ending image. Oh, gasp and guh! *sniffles loudly*

Thanks so much for stopping by to look and comment, Este. I was hoping we'd get some good shots of the diptych and we did. I just wanted to do them justice.

P.S. - It *does* look like Mirrormere! That makes it even more magical. Thanks for sharing that. *smooch*
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
Gentle Hobbit
gentlehobbit at 2006-12-03 00:02 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much for this lovely post, Mechtild. I too have seen those kinds of early Rennaissance (and Medieval, I believe, as well) paintings that tell a story with the same people repeating within the work. The Bayeux Tapestry also comes to mind.

The painting is utterly beautiful. I love how she has used that storytelling technique.

I also enjoyed the poem. I think that among the more emotional parts, this was the bit that stood out for me the most:

Smoke rings
of insignificant
magnificence
rise
like unspoken
words
into leaven'd dark.


That, for me, was the most quietly emotional bit. It is so visual that I feel as if I were there, with the history and memories of Bag End and all who lived or visited there: Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves, Frodo, and Sam. Unspoken words indeed! Lovely!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-03 01:26 (UTC) (Link)
I feel as if I were there, with the history and memories of Bag End and all who lived or visited there: Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves, Frodo, and Sam. Unspoken words indeed! Lovely!


Oh, now you're making me cry over that part, too! Thank you for making that even more vivid for me. You are very right about the resonance of that line.

Medieval art did this, too? I suppose it would have, since they also had so many paintings in which actual captions were included, lettered ribbons coming out of the mouths of subjects the way text balloons would today, in comic books or graphic novels.

Thanks so much again for commenting, Gentlehobbit. :)
Hobbity forever
periantari at 2006-12-04 05:32 (UTC) (Link)
wow how beautiful! I love the paintings and love the incredible poems!

when
she went
where
I could not
follow,
then
I could,
at last,
follow you.

awwww! :*( Indeed...Sam could... but i always wonder how he can let go of his children/grandchildren...
I guess Frodo had the other part of his heart...

Lovely~ Grey Havens is my favorite. ::memories this post::
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-04 05:48 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for commenting, Periantari!

awwww! :*( Indeed...Sam could... but i always wonder how he can let go of his children/grandchildren...
I guess Frodo had the other part of his heart...


I think Jan handled this inevitable split in Sam's feelings so well -- his sorrow over Rosie's death, his sorrow at parting with the children he so loved, yet sensing that he would not have realised what he was meant to realise in his life (his destiny?). Would he have fulfilled his life and his own personal quest if he *didn't* sail before he died, and wind up his life in the real presence of the world he'd loved from childhood, the world of the Elves and all the Elves stood for? And in the real presence of the other whom he had loved, the one with whom he'd endured so much -- both sublime and unspeakable?
Illyria
illyria_novia at 2006-12-04 12:09 (UTC) (Link)
I get goosebumps and shivers each time I read Jan-u-wine's poem. Each and every time. Thank you so much for sharing this painting, and for including that poem.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-04 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
Had you read Jan's poem before, Illyria? Or did you mean
"each and every time" now? That is, were you a reader of this poem previously? Lucky you to have been enjoying her work for longer if you already knew this piece. I don't think I have read a more moving fic that tries to relate this part of Frodo and Sam's stories -- which Tolkien never enlarged upon in canon -- yet which feels so thoroughly embedded in Tokien's established world and characters. I feel this way about many of Jan's poems, but they typically provide smaller, tighter [also beautifully-written, deeply telling] vignettes in terms of time and place. It makes my heart race as I read this one, which takes up multiple, extended sequences in both their lives and makes it all work.
Whiteling
whiteling at 2006-12-04 17:15 (UTC) (Link)
Aaah! Finally I had the time to sit down and read jan's poem and to have a thorough look at Nan's lovely two-panel painting!

Thank you so much for presenting both pieces in one entry, Mechtild - it is just fantastic to have the pictures and the words together, every one of them a seperate work of art, but creating a sonorous chord while reading and looking. Jan's poem left me deeply moved (*sniffs discreetly in her handkerchief*), and Nan's painting is lovely - yes, I too am reminded of religious paintings in folk-style, like Ex-votos (votive paintings) in chapels and churches, or of renditions of Saints' lives with several events displayed in one sweep); I love all the details and the fresh colours and how the eye of the beholder is allowed to wander over it and discover more and more things. Really lovely!
(Anonymous) at 2006-12-04 20:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Whiteling. Yes, it is neat the way the paintings contain so much. You can look at the whole thing, one panel at a viewing, or enter in and wander about as you say. Jan said it reminded her of comics or graphic novels in the way the image is meant to be "read" in a sequence of smaller images. But comics and such usually have dividers between the sequences. This one has the sequences in one image, like the old votive paintings. It is only in two panels because Jan had planned to mount them on the doors to an old cabinet of hers she loves. I don't know if she's going to end up doing that, though.
pearlette
pearlette at 2006-12-05 19:49 (UTC) (Link)
At long last I've been able to relax and study this truly delightful diptych properly and read Jan-u-wine's beautiful poem.

I love both. The charming simplicity of Nan's diptych, and the medieval attention to detail, reminds me a bit of Pauline Bayne's exquisite illustrations (Tolkien liked Baynes's work.)

The story told in this lovely diptych is a deeply moving one.

Gulls crying over the wide waters as the ship carries Sam to the haven of Avallone ... to an ultimate destination of rest and tranquillity as he and Frodo smoke peacefully under the stars of Elbereth.

Thanks for posting it, Mechtild, and thanks for the link to Nan's site. :)

And Jan's poem ... such lovely images that impress themselves on the mind with quiet power.

when the moon
chances
to walk in water,
I see you,
within the tired
circle of my mind.


And Sam has the final word. Waaaaaaah.

Jan has a similar perspective on F&S's reunion to mine in my story 'Beyond the Sunset'. I too envisaged Bilbo having died by the time Sam arrived ... I love her idea of the elanor twining around the hobbit-hole on Eressea. :)


Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-05 23:25 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for dropping by, Pearl. I am so pleased. *smooch*

I hadn't thought of Pauline Bayne's work as a similar sort of illustation art; I will Google up some of her images and refresh my memory. *refreshes* Ah! I see she illustrated the Smith of Wootton Major I own, and Leaf By Niggle. I also saw many images from her Narnia illustrations, a book series I don't own, however famous. Those were The Best!

You wrote of the poem, "images that impress themselves on the mind with quiet power". That is well-spoken. I have that sense when I'm reading it, too.

I didn't know about your fic, "Beyond the Sunset", Pearl. I'm going to make a link here, for the sake of convenience. I look forward to reading it.
taerie
taerie at 2006-12-05 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
That was beautiful.. I wish I had words to tell of my feelings about this. Jan has the words alright. I don't think I have EVER read someones work that expresses more of this strange sorrow and joy that makes this story live and live. I SO wish Tolkien could have read it. I bet he would be writing her fan letters.
(No fan letters for us though. Heh.)
Thank you for posting the close ups of the paintings!! You indulge me in one of my favorite activities although I usually have to go to a museum to enjoy it. Getting close enough to see the brushstrokes. I can almost smell the paint. (A smell that I love!)
That sort of panelly kind of art that tells a story like a graphic novel is something I particularly like too although I never tried it myself. (probablly because I never envision anything of mine hanging on a wall.) It is quite beautiful both in style and color and content. Thanks!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-05 23:32 (UTC) (Link)
Taerie, how lovely that you have stopped by! I was so hoping you would see this post. This poem and the art that illustrates it move me very much. But you know I'm a sucker for Jan's eye for seeing through the eyes of her characters. She lets us see what they see, which, somehow - magically - allows us to see them - deeply.

As for the painting, I just love the concept of it, what the painter has attempted and managed to pull off. It's so full of both stillness and movement. The clouds, the sea surface, the grasses, the gulls, the hair on the characters' heads are all moving, yet the mountains are still and solid, Bag End securely tucked under the hillside of grass, and the stars overhead burn with steady light.
taerie
taerie at 2006-12-05 21:56 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah.. I meant to add... The part about Bilbo's grave almost killed me.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-05 23:35 (UTC) (Link)
The part about Bilbo's grave almost killed me.

Me, too. *sob* Hey, Pearl says she's written a story about this piece of Frodo and Sam's story, which she remarked had a similar take on them. (She wrote "Star of the Sea", which I adore and featured a few months ago, paired with screencaps from RotK, the desk scene and Frodo's vision of Galadriel in the pass of Cirith Ungol.) I put the link in a comment above, so that I could find it again easily, since I plan to read it.
Maewyn
maewyn_2 at 2006-12-06 12:52 (UTC) (Link)
A beautiful painting. A beautiful poem. Both artists have excelled themselves.

I'm so glad you enlarged the picture so that more detail can be seen.

A great deal of love has been put into Nan's painting. I can almost hear the splashing of the water as the little ship cuts through the sea; the cries of the gulls hovering overhead; the homeliness of the garden and smial, and the peacefulness of two old friends sitting together in intimate silence. Excellent.

I'll be honest in saying that poetry has never been my forte. However, Jan-u-wine has the knack of telling a story that goes straight to the heart. She paints her picture with words. It's a masterpiece.

Thank you for bringing both of these works of art to us all.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-06 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for commenting, Maewyn. I appreciate it.

The picture is full of charms for the Tolkien fan, isn't it? So many details and vignettes to wander through, yet the overall composition works, too. It's like a story in pictures, all with in one picture. Maybe like one of the boxes that has smaller and smaller boxes inside, each with its own picture, but all of them fitting within the one. I can't imagine attempting anything so complex.

I'll be honest in saying that poetry has never been my forte. However, Jan-u-wine has the knack of telling a story that goes straight to the heart.

Exactly so. I tended to skip over poetry entries, too, although Este in the Harem thread helped me to appreciate poetry far more, bringing in examples of beautiful love poems from past ages so that even I had to say, "Wow, that was excellently done, true and beautiful."

But Jan's poems -- for me -- read more like very intimate and highly concentrated fics, from deeply within the hearts and psyches and thought processes of their subjects. They tell stories the way that fics do, but from the inside of them, rather than from the outside. She really uses the medium of poetry to make her characters and Tolkien's world come alive in an intense and unique way.
julchen11
julchen11 at 2006-12-17 23:20 (UTC) (Link)
"
I pass
through
the riot of
my careless
garden,
brushing
fingers
through the soft tangle
of amaryllis
where Bilbo lies.. …."

What a post! It left me slightly exhausted at the end ... and so it should be.
The poem, oh my, the poem is gorgeous, sad, heartbreaking yet full of hope.
The pictures are amazing, I am sitting here for a long time just staring at the prints I made. I love the details, the colors ... it's a picture who talks to me.
Your quotes so very lovingly ...
This post is like a pearl for me, I'm so glad and grateful.
Thank you, my friend, thanks to the wonderful artists.
Reading the comments friends left ... it's all said.
I'm very touched deep in my heart and in my soul Frodo and Sam will be forever!

*hugs you very tight*
Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-12-17 23:35 (UTC) (Link)
I agree, Julchen, this was a beautiful post. The poem tears me up but puts me back together again, and the painting illustrates it wonderfully well.

P.S. I got a lovely card from you! I sent you one back I was so surprised and pleased; you should be getting it soon.
antane at 2010-05-02 20:57 (UTC) (Link)
I love this poem - one of the best of hers I've read! What a sweet, dear love they have. Home indeed. The art is sweet also.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2010-05-02 21:12 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you discovered this, Antane. Isn't it a splendid piece of writing?
rohmorgon
rohmorgon at 2011-01-24 17:40 (UTC) (Link)

Reunion

I was one of the fortunate few who witnessed the live performance of this piece by Jan and Primmy. Or I should say, Sam and Frodo, because that is who they really were when they were on the stage.

The atmosphere in the room was charged with electric emotion, yet so silent you could hear the splitting of a hair - except for the magical words Sam and Frodo wove about us as their reunion unfolded, and the whisper of tears trailing down the faces of those watching.

It is my favorite moment of all the Tolkien moments I've shared with fellow fans, and one I shall never forget. To me, it represents the spirit of the fellowship that Tolkien encouraged his readers to discover for themselves.

Thank you, Jan, and Primmy, for this wonderful poem and the memories you gave this fellow fan.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2011-01-24 17:46 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Reunion

What a beautiful comment, Rohmorgon. Will Jan be able to recognize you from this user name? I'm going to send her a link to this entry so she can read your comment. Thanks so much for stopping and speaking so thoughfully, and from the heart.
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