Before the Frodo screencap series goes on its little sabbatical, jan-u-wine and I would like to express our thanks to our readers. Who knows? Some of you may not be visiting here by the time it starts up again. I don’t have that much more to do—some scenes in Rivendell, maybe some “pick-ups” from Bree and Weathertop, plus some more of Lothlórien. For the time being, I want to work on some other things.
I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but this project began as a sharing of screencaps I’d made while browsing the films for faces to use for ‘Frodo Art Travesties’. I never would have guessed it would have turned into this on-going project. Making the posts—more and more as I have gone on—has greatly increased my knowledge of and love for the book and films, and it had introduced me to jan-u-wine.
Jan has been a devoted fan of LotR since her first reading of the book when she was thirteen, reading it every year until children made her life too busy. A member of the Tolkien Society's Los Angeles smial (Tolkien Forever), Jan has, with that group, presented readings of her work at The Hall of Fire, attended and worked on big fan events like ORC and the L.A party that the non-TORN people put together for the RotK Oscars, "Into the West", and was privileged to attend TORN's Oscar dinner and party afterwards.
I had thought Jan had been caught up in the fan fervour from the first rumours of the films being made, but that is not so. Like me, it turns out, Jan initially stayed away from the film project and its hooplah. She told me, "I was decidedly NOT going to see them. Was not interested, oh, no, precious, not interested." But, "it was the strangest dis-interest that ever there was. It was similar, in fact, to the sort of dis-interest that prompts little boys to dip little girls pigtails in the ink bottle... the desperate ignoring of what one unconciously knows will consume one's life with its power and beauty.... I was there on opening day. And that was the end. Or the beginning, as it were."
I had not known jan-u-wine from my time on LotR messageboards, nor from LJ. Although Jan has been and still is active with the Tolkien group where she lives, she has not been someone who has spent her [very rare] free time on line. She saved that for writing. I met Jan when she emailed me out of the blue with a question about one of my Frodo art manips. From that exchange was born an on-going lively and fruitful dialogue about LotR, fanfic, art, Frodo and Tolkien, a friendship (which finally became face-to-face; we’ve now met twice), and a creative partnership. With her permission, I began to pair her narrative poems with some of my art manips and screencap entries. This, I think, benefited both: the images further brought out Jan’s poems, and her poems added tremendously to the emotional resonance of my screencaps and manips. I think this partnership has benefited fan-readers, too.
I want to say here “Thank you” to Jan for sharing so much talent, friendship, and skill with me, to Muse Frodo who inspired us to it, and to you who have been fans of the series. Although I would enjoy making and presenting the entries even if only Jan read them, knowing there are others of you who still love the book and films (and the best Hobbit in the Shire!), makes a huge difference to me.
Thank you all for your readership and lively, gracious responses. I know I say this to you individually answering your comments, but this is to make sure I don't miss anyone, especially you readers who follow this series but don't comment. Once in a while one of you will come forward, which is great because I forget you are out there. This LJ does not have a hit counter, so I never have any idea how many people read it other than those who comment.
Well. Here we are, at a sort of ending of things.....though not ALL things. And it's time to say thank you to so many people. In checking, I find that I've not replied to any of your very kind comments since May! *Hangs head, is sorrowful*.
My only excuse is that Real Life has been demanding, in both joyful and painful ways. I do hope that you will forgive me for not commenting back to you individually, but in thanking you en masse. Not only have your comments been more than kind, they have, in many cases, brought me to join you in tears. The passion and thoughfulness of your responses only increase my appreciation of the Professor's works. Truly, *we* know a "joy like swords". For that joy, I am indebted to Professor Tolkien. For sharing it with me, I am truly and humbly indebted to each and every one of you. If you don't mind, I'd like to thank you all publicly, here and now.
(my goodness, this is quite a list. I've made it alpha, just to be 'neat'. If I have left anyone out, or spelled anyone's name incorrectly, I apologize beforehand):
Because I'm better (I think) at writing poetry than prose, I've written a sort of poem for all of you, as both a "thank you" and as a "picture" of what it has been like for me to write using the voices of persons who have become beloved to me........
They were always there, I suppose,
voices so twined and constant
that I took them (merely) for my own.
Always, it seems, we were a part,
me of them,
them, of me...
no, never *that*,
like the sort of rest a note might take,
(a rest speaking more of that which is to come than that which
binding me to them as we went along.
Images on a screen.
the greens and golds of a place I knew
(and loved better)
as the heat-run asphalt of a city-in-summer street.
Of a sudden, I was Home,
in my heart.
And all the words they'd been holding
(as if words were breath, which, of course, they ARE)
swam like a thousand stars upon my fingers,
dusted themselves upon the white of paper,
danced their fire-fly selves upon the keyboard,
wove ribbons of grace within my mind.
Oh, how I loved them,
loved the words they
Bemused and sweetly taken,
there was no choice
but to capture each thought,
each fragile word,
tender as a kitten-footed dawn.
It has been my honour
Really, I've been blessed to be inside a sort of a song, one voiced by some of the most beautiful spirits that ever there were.
Finally (and I see all of you breathing a sigh of relief!), I'd like to thank Mechtild for inviting me to work by her side. It isn't just her love of this particular subject that *shines*, but her great love for life, her enthusiasm and regard for humans and their condition, her searching for spiritual roads and values.
Of course, we must also not forget her wonderful curiosity about certain.......*bits*........
Thank you all again. I feel rather like I've made a very long speech upon the occasion of my one-hundred-and-eleventy-first birthday. Unfortunately, I've no magik ring, so I'll just say "good-bye" and...........
Note: The full collection of Jan's LotR poetry may be found at LotR Scrapbook.
Below are pairs of screencaps to ponder-sort of book-ends-taken from FotR and RotK. I collected images I thought would make evocative sets to make a visual summary of sorts, because the poses resembled each other, and because the situations complemented each other.
For example, I chose images of Frodo preparing to leave the safe haven of Rivendell to embark on the Quest, from which, psychologically, there would be no return. These compare and contrast with images of him preparing to leave Middle-earth to embark on yet another journey from which there would be no return......
In the Woody End, Frodo drifts into sweet repose; on the plains of Gorgoroth, into waking nightmare......
In the opening cart scene, Frodo comically looks his plea to Gandalf (when the children cry for fireworks). In the Sammath Naur, the plea he looks to Sam is not comical at all......
At Bag End, Frodo desperately begs Gandalf to take the Ring, horrified to be its keeper. In the Sammath Naur, he still wishes it away, but for different, more terrible reasons......
Frodo's amused, sweet smile at Gandalf, who has just told Frodo what amazing creatures Hobbits are, is oddly similar to—yet worlds away from—Frodo's little leer as he claims the Ring......
Frodo's light-hearted laugh as he leaps from Gandalf's cart informs his sweet-sad smile as he watches Sam marry, assuming the life he can never have, in the Shire he must leave......
The scene of Frodo and Bilbo in the wagon as they ride to the Grey Havens is that much more poignant if the viewer brings to mind the nearly identically-composed scene in the Party Tent. I have wondered, was this one of Peter Jackson's intentional book-ends? If so, he succeeded brilliantly......
Frodo smiles his affirmation to Gandalf for relenting and setting off the fireworks for the children. His last look to his friends, before he turns to face the West, is another smile of affirmation......
Last of the pairs, Frodo's simple, youthful excitement as he hears Gandalf approaching, hopefully bringing new adventure, makes all the more evocative the soft, wisdom-informed smile that spreads over his face as he accepts his mentor's invitation once more, but to a very different adventure......
~ EE Party Tent Scene, plus jan-u-wine’s ‘Dremes and Dragons’.
~ Ride to the Havens in widescreen, plus jan-u-wine’s “A Visit to Hobbiton” and “The Portrait”.
~ EE Cart Ride with Gandalf, plus jan-u-wine’s 'Halimath 1389'.
~ EE ‘Wood Elves!’ scene, plus jan-u-wine’s ‘Bell’ and ‘Mellon’.
~ Thank-you’s from Mechtild and jan-u-wine, plus screencap pairs.
Other Tables of Links: