~*~

Patterns (untitled)-700



In a little over a day, countless fans will be lining up at theatres across the United States to see the premiere midnight showings of The Hobbit. I hope it's huge. But before the celebrating begins, let's pause to savour the beauties of two particular hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Theirs is a beauty of spirit and intellect and imagination, of heart, and, for those who recognize such realities, of soul. To my mind, no one better lifts up these qualities than jan-u-wine. I am pleased to the marrow that she has written two new pieces from the points of view of these characters. I have accompanied them with screencaps from Bilbo and Frodo's reunion scene in Rivendell, and with drawings by J. R. R. Tolkien, who had a great deal of Bilbo in him, including Bilbo's love of letters, drawing and the making of books.

How I love these two poems, individually but also as a complementary pair. In the first, 'As Shall I', Bilbo is in Rivendell. The Fellowship has departed on the Quest and he is left to reflect. In the second, 'These Were His', Frodo is across the Sea and Bilbo has departed, and Frodo reflects.

Although the times and setting are dissimilar, in both poems the protagonists handle and contemplate physical objects that remind them of the other. But what a difference in how they feel about the these objects. Bilbo reflects upon treasured items, things Frodo has left behind or that Bilbo intends to give to Frodo on his return. "This, this, this ... these I will keep ready for him, for he will want to have them, surely". Bilbo envisions a Frodo returned holding each thing, regarding it, making use of it. The things are tokens that connect Bilbo to the one with whom he hopes to be rejoined. Frodo is also contemplating items Bilbo has left behind, but Frodo envisions no reunion. He looks at them knowing he will never see Bilbo hold or use them again, at least not in this world. But in Tolkien's tale in the Appendices, Aragorn, dying, says something relevant to Arwen. While Aragorn acknowledges Arwen's distress and grief, he declares this to her:

“In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold, we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”

That there is "more than memory" for Frodo and Bilbo, too, is my hope.




~*~








Bilbo's Book 09


Bilbo's Book 11


Bilbo's Book 13


Bilbo's Book 34


Bilbo's Book 20



As Shall I

We are not lads
anymore,

either of us.

Still,
it is he, now,
departing upon an

Adventure

(my Adventure, truth be told)

and I who must remain,
(tucked up,
like a parchment within its
close envelope),

behind.

Two months.

Two months
were we granted
to say our farewells,

silences and sudden
words

dealt out between
councils and map-gathering,

songs and secrecy.

Now it is winter.

They have gone,
and taken the Sun with them.

The Elves have left the tidying of his room to me.

Grey light,
pale as a fog-misted moon,
lives within it.

There are leaves upon the floor,
crook-spines rusty with departed
Autumn,

the warm tea-scent of them
faded to naught
by Winter's breath.

He is a careful traveler,
my nephew.

And yet, perforce,
one who may not take
all that he had brought.

This is not, after all,
the light holiday
he imagined,

this is not the tra-la-la
of Elven tales beneath
a night-star'd sky.

There is much that he has
left behind.

He shall want these things
when he returns:

he shall want his Da's
pipe,

the bowl fashioned
as an Oliphaunt's trunk....

he shall want his best quill
and the pot of green ink

(gifted by me, as solemn
reminder that ....he need

not always be.....
so....
very
solemn).....

he shall want the flower-journal
he had of his mum,

mithril-runes dancing like opal stars
upon the cover,

green-spined herbs and fragile-petall'd
flowers pressed within.


He shall want all these things
when next he walks within this
hidden valley.

Like a cloak,
gathered against the darkest
cold of night,

I hold them to me.

These small things....
they shall be here,

waiting upon his return.

As shall I.

As ever
shall I.



~*~










Patterns 1 (untitled)-RED



Flowers-RED



Floral Alphabet (untitled)-RED




These Were His

These
were his.

Oh,
nothing of worth,
perhaps,

to anyone else.

Nothing of greater worth
to me.

Disordered bits of parchment,

ragged with his
anxious scrawl,

wax drips,
like a rainbow of errant
thought......

flowers,
heads drooped and dried
with neglect,

within a dark-watered vase.

The smell of pipe-weed lingers yet
where last he set pipe and pouch to rest.

A quieten'd quill, nib worn to ruin,
lies cross-wise upon his journal.

The over-sewn riot of his favorite
waist-coat,

red as fire,
buttons brass'd with bold initials.....

the......

silence

of his walking stick,

quietly awaiting
an evening ramble.....

This was my uncle,

traveler with dwarves
and wizards,

maker of songs,
teller of tales.

Elf-friend.

Mortal in the land of immortals.

These were his.




~*~








Previous Frodo entry:

Young Gardener-ICON by Kiprensky ~ "The Young Squire", with painting by Kiprensky.

Other Links:
Nan's Reunion-ICON ~ All entries featuring jan-u-wine's poems.


From: [identity profile] rakshi.livejournal.com


These are glorious.. made even more so by including the Professor's drawings.

Thank you!

Love...

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


thank you so much, Rakshi! I'm very happy you enjoyed, and aren't JRRT's drawings just perfect as illustrations? (YES!)

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


You are welcome, Rakshi. He was very accomplished, I thought, in art. Had he had no gift for tale-telling and word-lore, perhaps he would have been a visual artist in earnest?

From: [identity profile] pearlette.livejournal.com


Beautiful poems, as always. Jan captures their personalities perfectly. :)

I read the Bilbo poem with Ian Holm's voice in my head! :). Bilbo sounds anxious, wistful, yearning and ... hopeful. I do love how Tolkien's characters hold onto hope - especially hobbits, their indomitable, merry spirits aren't easily quenched.

Frodo, OTOH, sounds exactly like someone bereaved.

There is nothing else for him to say. There is a flatness, a resignation, a sparseness to his words.

I hope he wasn't too lonely, in that Elvish haven, after Bilbo passed beyond the circles of this world.

From: [identity profile] pearlette.livejournal.com


Oh, and Tolkien's illustrations are so gorgeous. :). Even his doodling has an other-worldly style!

Seeing The Hobbit on Friday morning! :). Wheeeee.

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From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-12 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Frodo, OTOH, sounds exactly like someone bereaved. There is nothing else for him to say. There is a flatness, a resignation, a sparseness to his words.

Jan and I were just talking about Frodo's life in Tol Eressea after Bilbo's passing, as I prepared the intro for this post. I have tended to think that Bilbo would not have laid him down to die if he had not felt that Frodo would be able to bear it. I am sure Frodo would be able. Besides, Bilbo would have known if Frodo only pretended he could carry on. Frodo was given Arwen's gift and went across the Sea precisely that he might be healed, and part of being a healed person is being able to let go of the ones we love. But that doesn't make us immune to sorrow and grief. Frodo is feeling normal grief. He's bereaved, as you say even better. Feeling the loss can't be avoided.

But if Bilbo died before Sam left Middle-earth (and in my fannish imagination I have always imagined things happening that way), even if Frodo were still nursing his grief, surely Sam's arrival--hoped for but not a certainty--would be a radical pick-me-up. :)

Thanks for stopping, Pearl. Your thoughts are always worth pondering. :)

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


thank you so much, Pearlette! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Mechtild has such a talent for finding the proper accompaniment for the poems. The 'doodles' are perfect, I think.

My thought on Frodo is that he was a lonely sort of person, his whole life. Or maybe just someone who enjoyed his solitude. In writing this poem, I didn't feel that he was (for example) despairing. But grieved, yes. And of course, he would be. On a deep level, and yet, with his new-found wisdom, not to the extent that he'd be plunged into darkness.

Enjoy your Hobbit journey! I'm very excited to be going tomorrow evening. It seems impossible that it is *here*. Soon we shall stand on the grass of the Shire again.....

From: [identity profile] shirebound.livejournal.com


Ohhhh, these are both GORgeous poems. I feel all weepy now.

You two make a wonderful team to bring these word-and-image magics to us.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Oh, thank you, Shirebound. You are a love to stop and read and write such a heart-felt comment. *smooch*

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


thanks so much, Shirebound! I do love being side-by-side with Mechtild in the creation of such lovely things.

From: [identity profile] mews1945.livejournal.com


This is just altogether a beautiful, eloquent post. The poems are so moving. These lines, especially, brought me to tears:

the......

silence

of his walking stick,

quietly awaiting
an evening ramble.....


I can see it so clearly, and imagine Frodo's face, as he looks at Bilbo's things.

So, so beautiful. Thank you for finding all these pictures to accompany Jan's lovely words. And thank you to Jan, for sharing your poetry with us.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


I can see it so clearly, and imagine Frodo's face, as he looks at Bilbo's things.

I always feel this way reading Jan's work. She gets right next to her subjects, sometimes inside them, and allows us, through her words, the same intimate perspective.

Thank you, Mews, for stopping. Planning to go to the midnight premiere? Even if I weren't waiting for our daughter to come home for the holidays to see it, I still wouldn't see it. I am, alas, too old. I think I'd fall asleep for the Second Coming if it started at midnight, now that I am getting on. :)

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From: [identity profile] mews1945.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-12 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-13 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


Thank you so much, Mews. I feel really blessed to be able to come close to voicing these two people. I often wonder how it happens. It's a dear joy. A complete and utter and very *dear* joy!

(and Mechtild did another lovely job in choosing the illos. She's anyone's dreme-partner!)

I hope that you are feeling well and I am glad that you'll be going on the Grand Adventure on Friday evening.

From: [identity profile] primula-baggins.livejournal.com


Beautiful!

I saw a tweet today that said there's more Frodo Baggins in The Hobbit than she expected. Good news for us Frodo fans. :)

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Thank you, Primula. I am so glad the poems and images satisfied. :)

I hope to see The Hobbit for the first time on Christmas. Our daughter is coming home from her ship and we're seeing it together. Although she's not a Tolkien fan as such, she does love the LOTR films, and Shore's score, so she's really looking forward to seeing it.

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


thank youi, Primula! (and there certainly can never be too much Frodo Baggins. Bring him on, I say! Let him narrate the Whole Damn Thing! )

From: [identity profile] ambree40.livejournal.com


Thank you so much, both of you, for this wonderful post. As usual, the words and the illustrations complement each other beautifully. The screen captures really show that old age has caught up on Bilbo. You can imagine that he will …

"listen for returning feet
and voices at the door"

… after the company has set out. Tolkien has captured that anxiety so well. And jan-u-wine has captured the feeling that Bilbo desperately tries to make certain that they will return safely by treasuring these inanimate objects.

I was really struck by the second poem. I've never really thought about Frodo being all alone (as a hobbit) in Tol Eressea. But it does seem likely that Bilbo would have been healed and ready to go long before Frodo would have been able to do so.

The best part of this whole post (for me) is the reminder of Aragorn's words to Arwen.

Thank you!

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


Ah, Ambree, that is my favorite of JRR's poems. It just rings every emotional change that can be rung. I'm proud to be mentioned in the same post as this poem, which paints an entire landscape of feeling in a hobbit-size space.


Thank you so much, Ambree!

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From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-13 02:51 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] ambree40.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-13 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] lavendertook.livejournal.com


Oh the images of Bilbo holding these things from Drogo, Primula, and himself is just wonderful. Of course green is the hobbity festive color and Bilbo giving Frodo cheering ink is so right. Bilbo holding them tightly in worried and guilty hope for Frodo's return.

And that walking stick silent says it all -- "these were his." Perfect remembrance. And I smiled just before at Frodo's fond complaint that Bilbo's vest is too flamboyant for his tastes. A note of humor in a beautiful elegy--the green ink Bilbo had brought him in the poem before.

Those doodles are so gorgeous, especially the bird with the sea border above, and the earth and sky border below. I don't think I've seen them before. They all remind me more of Armenian illumination than European, which is interesting for such an Anglo-Saxon and Nordic-Germanic scholar. I say this because I had the wonderful experience in my early 20's of getting to handle and sketch from some beautiful 16th C Armenian illuminated manuscripts in the rare books room of the Philadelphia Free LIbrary, and I remember sketching some similar birds and stylized flowers--and I got there on a path, in large part set by his influence. (-:

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


Dear LT! so very happy that you liked the post. Surely, I enjoyed writing the poems. I just love these two so very much. They have such beauty.

And the illos *are* truly perfect, aren't they? There's "Bilbo" written all over those doodles, I think. I could imagine Frodo looking at them, after Bilbo had gone and feeling a jumble of emotion.....

How wonderful you were granted to see and handle such beautiful manuscripts. You've had quite an Adventure of a life, yourself.

well, I am off to work. And then......I'm off to the Shire. A happy journey to you, as well!

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From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-13 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: (Anonymous)

Oh My!


Mara Aure!! Your post an Jan-u-wine's poetry are as exquisite as ever!

My, metchild! That profile picture of Frodo looking up is absolutely lovely!! May I ask where you got it?

Take care!

Diem Kieu (PS - I am SO excited for the Hobbit!! I've been counting down the days! :D

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com

Re: Oh My!


Diem Kieu, greetings. I am pleased you found the poems beautiful. I certainly agree, they are "exquisite".

But what do you mean by the "profile picture of Frodo looking up"? Somehow I am not seeing an image of that description. There are images of film Frodo in the Rivendell screencaps from "Fellowship of the Ring", but he's not looking up in any of them, nor is he in profile. Do you mean some other image?

Which day will you be seeing The Hobbit? It opens all over the U.S. tomorrow (with midnight showings tonight), but it has already opened in other countries, and has yet to open in still other places.

Re: Oh My!

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From: [identity profile] diem-kieu94.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-25 05:26 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Thank you very much, Claudia. I am so happy the poems appear to such advantage. They are so good.

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From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-15 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Thank you, Addie. Two beautiful characters and their creator inspired it. :)

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From: [identity profile] belleferret.livejournal.com


Ah, these poems are beautiful and sad, and so indicative of the loving bond between Frodo and Bilbo. The screen caps from Fellowship and Tolkien's drawings are the perfect accompaniment.

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


Thank you, Belleferret. It's gratifying to hear the post -- both its poems and images -- worked for you. I am so pleased you could stop and comment.

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From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-18 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] antane.livejournal.com


Sorry that I just noticed this - so busy. Love this first one especially - poor Bilbo - the long wait must have been so terrible to endure before his beloved lad came back again but there is his great hope that Frodo would.

Has the book got to you yet? It was faster to send it through an automated machine than standing in line but they didn't have a media mail selection. Certainly didn't mind sending it first class! :)

Will be seeing the film after Christmas with my sister and her large family - all fans! Can't wait!

jan-u-wine, checked the WestBow site again yesterday and they are still having issues. Who knows what's going on there. :(

Merry (and Frodo and Sam and Pippin and Bilbo) Christmas to you both and Happy Yule! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :) *hugs*

From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com


I"m pleased you enjoyed the poems, Antane.

Yes, the book arrived in a very timely fashion. But so far it's still sitting on the sideboard, unread. Like you, I'm very busy. Not that it's onerous, precisely, but it does take up all my spare time and energy -- holiday prep, that is.

I, too, am going to The Hobbit on or just after Christmas. Our daughter is coming to visit, woo hoo, and she is a fan of the LOTR films. We both agreed to postpone seeing The Hobbit until we can see it together.

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From: [identity profile] not-alone.livejournal.com


>>That there is "more than memory" for Frodo and Bilbo, too, is my hope.<<

Ohhh, mine too Mechtild, mine too.

I saw this entry when it was first posted but didn't have the time then to properly 'digest' it, hence the long delay in commenting. Now I have -reread, digested and 'seen' the vivid pictures painted by Jan's beautiful words. I always feel I want to pick out a line that stands out for me but when every line is a gem that becomes rather difficult - I could end up repeating the whole poem which would be a bit silly!!

And as always you've managed to find the perfect accompaniment to Jan's poems with the wonderful screencaps and Tolkien's amazingly beautiful drawings.

Thank you so much, both of you:)

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


Dear Paulie.......thank you so much! Mechtild is aces in picking out just the right illos to add to compliment the piece, not to mention her lovely intros.

As for the poems: i do really work to make every word, every sentence, every verse *shine*, (mech will tell you how anal i am, lol!) so I am happy if this plan has succeeded so well.

So very glad you've enjoyed the post and best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year!

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From: [identity profile] mechtild.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-12-22 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: (Anonymous)


I am very late in responding, but in earnest nonetheless...

Thank you, jan-u-wine and (well-)'Met' , for the beautiful musings, poems, and visuals. I had never seen these particular JRRT drawings before, and they are SO lovely... and, as jan writes in "As Shall I" --

he shall want the flower-journal
he had of his mum,

mithril-runes dancing like opal stars
upon the cover
(a gorgeous line!!)

.... these lines fit so perfectly with the drawings. And of course the screen caps of Frodo and Bilbo from LOTR .. at Rivendell... in these pictures both feel so much longing, and, at the same time, dread. Each is longing for the safety and happiness of the other, for the comforts of home, for peace; each is dreading the coming separation, the coming danger, the coming unknown. I enjoy Met's comments on the emotional messages found in the poems... the very different (but still sharing longing/dread) points of view of Bilbo and Frodo.

Both poems are small gems, so much of the longing and love expressed in so few words. That is the amazing thing about (good) poetry. I have favorite lines from each:

As Shall I:

They have gone,
and taken the Sun with them.


There are leaves upon the floor,
crook-spines rusty with departed
Autumn.


(I can see the rusty crook-spines! And how I mourn the departure of Autumn [when I can experience it as a true season], the crisp air, the briskness, the crunch of the leaves, the smell of the leaves ['warm tea-scent'], the friendly Autumn fires...)

Like a cloak,
gathered against the darkest
cold of night


Bilbo is indeed holding very tightly to these beloved objects, and the line above illustrates that so well.

In Frodo's poem, These Were His:

He tells us that nothing is of greater worth to him than these seemingly humble objects... objects of small worth, in the world's eyes. But Frodo knows that this is all he has left of Bilbo... these things, and his own memories (and memories are ephemeral, and cannot always be trusted) -- the objects can be touched, held tightly, and help spark what memories he *does* have, of course. It's hard for us to imagine a world where there are just a few drawings of beloved persons, places, events... no photographs. No moving pictures! No sound recordings! No 'actual' record (as in "recordings"). It is very hard for us to grasp the concept, but when we try, we can see that the few drawings and the beloved objects take on even higher meaning than we today can possibly imagine.


More lovely words--

wax drips,
like a rainbow of errant
thought......


pure poetry! Bless you...

and

A quieten'd quill, nib worn to ruin

I enjoy the meter, the alliteration, and the worn/ruin pairing. I also like 'nib worn', because for me it evokes 'nib-worn', the idea that paper/parchment can also be worn down by a nib...

A perfect pairing of words and visual art. Thank you, ladies, for the beautiful place of peace you've made in our too-fast, too-crazy world. We need these oases. Thank you.

With affection and admiration and love,

Mary

From: [identity profile] jan-u-wine.livejournal.com


Thank you, jan-u-wine and (well-)'Met' , for the beautiful musings, poems, and visuals. I had never seen these particular JRRT drawings before, and they are SO lovely... and, as jan writes in "As Shall I" --
>>>>>Mechtild has a way of knowing exactly what goes where. When i am in doubt, SHE knows. And is ne'er wrong!

I enjoy Met's comments on the emotional messages found in the poems... the very different (but still sharing longing/dread) points of view of Bilbo and Frodo.

>>>yes.....I don't realize any of these things consciously as I write, but when she turns the 'light' on them, I see that they are 'there'. It's a perfect collaboration, MetJa! (well-met, indeed!)

Both poems are small gems, so much of the longing and love expressed in so few words. That is the amazing thing about (good) poetry. I have favorite lines from each:

As Shall I

'They have gone,

and taken the Sun with them'
'There are leaves upon the floor,
crook-spines rusty with departed
Autumn'

(I can see the rusty crook-spines! And how I mourn

the departure of Autumn [when I can experience it as a true season], the crisp air,

the briskness, the crunch of the leaves, the smell of the leaves ['warm tea-scent'], the friendly Autumn fires...)

>>>I wanted to say that "crook-spine" was an image from a poem I attempted to write about Richard III (one that would segue over into a piece about Gollum!). Too ambitious for me, but the image was to good to let waste! I love autumn, too!

'Like a cloak,

gathered against the darkest

cold of night'

Bilbo is indeed holding very tightly to these beloved objects, and the line above illustrates that so well.

In Frodo's poem, These Were His:


He tells us that nothing is of greater worth to him than these seemingly humble objects... objects of small worth, in the world's eyes. But Frodo knows that this is all he has left of Bilbo... these things, and his own memories (and memories are ephemeral, and cannot always be trusted) -- the objects can be touched, held tightly, and help spark what memories he *does* have, of course. It's hard for us to imagine a world where there are just a few drawings of beloved persons, places, events... no photographs. No moving pictures! No sound recordings! No 'actual' record (as in "recordings"). It is very hard for us to grasp the concept, but when we try, we can see that the few drawings and the beloved objects take on even higher meaning than we today can possibly imagine.

>>>as I said above about Met......I don't always write on a level where I am conscious of deep meanings, so it is great when other people not only see what I envisioned, but deepen it. Lately, I have begun to think that objects are of so little use (i have SO very many of them....remembering objects, I mean, objects from my family, departed). But I see from your comments that I hold rightly to them, for they may spark my memory when all else is gone.....

More lovely words--

'wax drips,

like a rainbow of errant

thought......'


pure poetry! Bless you...

>>>thank you, dear Miss M.

and

'A quieten'd quill, nib worn to ruin,'

I enjoy the meter, the alliteration, and the worn/ruin pairing. I also like 'nib worn', because

for me it evokes 'nib-worn', the idea that paper/parchment can also be worn down by a nib...

>>>you always pull just a bit more meaning from the verse. I had not thought of this, but it is true. This is why I value your comments so highly. Thank you.

A perfect pairing of words and visual art. Thank you, ladies, for the beautiful place of peace
you've made in our too-fast, too-crazy world. We need these oases. Thank you.


>>>thank YOU for taking the time in YOUR fast and crazy world. You have been and ever shall be, an oasis of beauty, light, caring.



With affection and admiration and love,

>>>>with love to *you*, and all admiration and affection as well, dear Anon!

jan~
.

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