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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. Read more... )
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At first we thought we might post another new poem on the Baggins Birthday. Jan wrote it as her birthday mathom for Frodo. But the last section of this poem, "The Young Squire", with its image of the Road waiting for 'the touch of a lad's dream-held feet' made me think of the day after the Birthday, the day when, in S.R. 1418, Frodo's feet would be carried to places he'd never dreamed of, whether geographical places or interior places.

Read more... )
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Happy Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo!


This year, for the Baggins birthdays, jan-u-wine has written a pair of related poems, one from Bilbo's point of view, one from Frodo's. The poems are set at the time of Frodo's first birthday after the death of his parents. If they died boating in the summer, the loss, in September, would have been very fresh.

The poems capture both characters beautifully, and in a subtle range of mood. While the poems don't portray a "happy" birthday, they hint at the rich relationship, and many truly happy birthdays, that will come.

Read more... )
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It was back in the fall that jan-u-wine sent me 'The Master Observed'. I loved it at once and began to plan a post, choosing a painting, but no post was ever produced. As might be guessed from my long absence from LJ, I've been having the devil of a time getting up the zeal to write. Anything. Here it is more than six months later, and finally I am posting it.

The impetus to post was a poem Jan wrote just over a week ago, on the Fourth of July, 'Frodo's Lamp'. Read more... )
mechtild: (Birthday Bagginses)
( Mar. 28th, 2012 07:48 am)
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Happy Birthday, Shirebound!


I hope your special day is as festive as this one...!





~ 'Party at Bear's House', by J. R. R. Tolkien


Mechtild
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~ detail from a manip by Bandwench.



It was marked on my kitchen calendar. March 25: "Fall of Sauron". The destruction of the Ring and the Tower of Barad-dûr, the rescue of Frodo and Sam, the 'eucatastrophe' from which the hopes of the Free Peoples rose out of the smoke and ash of the Dark Lord's ruin. Of course I would have to celebrate it. Jan-u-wine agreed. But I'd screencapped every bit of the film scenes. In image and verse we'd pored over the destruction and fall and the rescue by the Eagles and the recovery in Ithilien.

It was another, quieter but no less pivotal event that captured my imagination this year, jan-u-wine's too . Re-reading the draft of a letter Tolkien wrote in 1963 to Mrs. Eileen Elgar (who had questions about whether Frodo failed or not), the matter of Arwen's gift of the jewel and her passage to the Undying Lands caught my attention. I sent it on and it provided the catalyst for a new and beautiful piece of jan-u-wine poetry.

Read more... )

The primary illustration for this piece is a manip Bandwench made several years ago, which she called "Prince Elijah". Although the source image was a photo of Elijah Wood, to my mind it was an image of Frodo, but Frodo no longer living in the Shire. To me it was Frodo as imagined across the Sea, dressed in foreign clothes (the Gaffer, surely, would not approve), yet clothes appropriate to one whom Gandalf called Bronwe athan Harthad, who was the King's friend, sung by minstrels, and hailed by armies. Bandwench had made the manip in an array of colour effects, but the one she did in 'gray scale' had the most magic for me, with its soft diffuse glow, revealing a bit of the inner light Gandalf had seen in Frodo as he recovered in Rivendell. I showed it to jan-u-wine and she, too, thought it was stunning, worthy of a poem.

Read more... )
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It's a little after the fact, the winners announced last week, but real-life doings have prevented this post till now.

Congratulations to jan-u-wine on her awards at the 2011 MEFA's. And thanks to Antane for nominating Jan's poems in the first place.

That I am pleased as punch can come as no surprise to readers of this LJ. Since 2005, I have featured well over a hundred of jan-u-wine's Tolkien-inspired pieces. Jan and I have become friends through working together, finally meeting in person in 2008. But while the posts inspired the friendship, it was the poetry that inspired the posts. Therefore I am very, very happy to see her work's excellence recognized.

Below is a list of the poems that placed, posted with the banners provided by MEFA volunteer artists. The titles of the poems link to their postings in this journal, although they can be read at their original location at LOTR Scrapbook, where all Jan's Tolkien-based work is archived.

Read more... )
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Happy 120th Birthday!


I am so grateful this man lived and created such wonders for so many to enjoy and cherish. And I love the photo below. It's from the cover of Tom Shippey's fine Author of the Century. The mood, the look of the sea, the time of day -- this is very much the way I picture the end of "The Grey Havens", Sam standing on the shore, looking long at the grey shifting sea over which Frodo has gone.

What Tolkien wrote, even if categorized 'Fantasy', always had the ring of 'been there, done that', from the external settings to the deepest experiences of the characters. He'd stood by the sea, he'd known irreparable loss. And turned it into unforgettable art.

Jan-u-wine, inspired by the photograph below, has written a beautiful tribute to the Professor for his birthday. It is posted below the image.



Read more... )
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Autumn is waning here in north-eastern Minnesota. This weekend the leaves are at their peak but they are about to fall. We are having what in the United States is called "Indian Summer", a time deep in the autumn when unseasonably warm weather grants what seems a return of summer. Knowing that it's a reprieve -- fleeting, not here to stay -- makes it all the more precious. Typically we would have had a hard frost by now. All the annuals would be dead, the perennial tops yellowed and wilted over their crowns, the leaves down. We'd be wearing jackets and mittens and caps, not sandals and t-shirts. The soft mildness is sweet, sweeter because one knows it will be gone any minute.

Perhaps something of the intense sweetness of this time, when the growing world is on the cusp between seasonal life and death, is captured in these two beautiful new poems. Frodo revels in the Shire's autumn, actual and remembered, the time when the colour and fragrance of the natural world -- as various and as intense as at summer's height, if the colours and scents are different -- is at its keenest, precisely because it is on the verge of being lost. If it is not to death, it is to something like death, when growth and the promise of life suddenly are no longer accessible to the senses. One must enter winter, head into the time of greyness, of dearth and want, sustained only by hope in what is hidden, but working its revivifying magic under the soil.

But that time is not come, not yet. Not here in Minnesota and not in the Shire of these poems. One more day has come when the natural world glows with topaz and ruby and garnet, living leaf-jewels twinkling in the soft fragrant air. One blast and down the leaves will come, all colour bled from the landscape, scents muted by frost. But not yet, not yet.
Read more... )
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What better way to celebrate The Birthday than with [manipped] photos by the late, great Pierre Vinet and a new poem from jan-u-wine. Happy Birthday, dear Bilbo and Frodo, our most beloved Bagginses.


Read more... )
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Jan-u-wine has written a new poem, "The Hill of Home", imagined from Frodo's point of view. Here it is, along with two paintings to set it off.

Read more... )
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Photobucket
'Ships on a Stormy Sea' by Jan Porcellis.


Best of luck and God bless you, East Coast friends, as you brace for Hurricane Irene.

Read more... )
mechtild: (Default)
( Aug. 17th, 2011 11:01 am)
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There's bears in them thar hills!

Yesterday evening, in deep dusk after a day of storms, I was reading in bed when my husband came dashing in to show me a photo he'd just taken of a black bear in our yard. Except for one that passed through the corner of the yard last summer, we haven't seen a bear in our yard for years, and have never got a good picture of the event. My husband was sitting in the dining room when he noticed a couple of young women standing in the street, snapping photos with their phones. A good-sized bear was heading into our yard. Seeing it was going to go pass between our house and the next, a narrow strip, he ran to get the camera. He snapped his photo from the side porch, just in time. "It was moving fast, all wet from the rain, and hustled into the trees at the back. I didn't get to take a second shot."

Here's the photo he took of the bear passing between our strip of river rock and the neighbour's wood pile (covered with plastic camouflage material):
Read more... )





Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] antane, over a dozen jan-u-wine poems have been nominated in this year's MEFA's, and I'm finally getting around to making an announcement. This journal has featured more than a hundred of Jan's poems, so you won't be surprised when I say I'm exceedingly pleased. :) All of the nominated poems have appeared in posts here, and a linked list is provided below, if you'd like to re-read any of them in my format.

Read more... )



The fire-orange asiatic lilies in the detail above are finished, the orange daylilies are on the wane. Most of the roses are having downtime (the blooms are gone, but buds are forming that will open before summer's end). A few varietals still have not bloomed (eupatorium, sedum and most of the rudbeckia). But otherwise the garden has entered its high summer state: more flowers are out at once than at any other time, offering the greatest variety of form and colour.

Here are some views of the beds in what will probably be my last large-scale garden post.



Read more... )
Tags:
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*


Nearly seven years ago, Elijah Wood said something about playing Frodo to an interviewer that resonated with many fans. The journalist wrote that Wood, although he had gone on to other roles since the trilogy, nevertheless did not disavow the character of Frodo. "I think at a certain point the attention on those films will die down, but I think I will always be associated, as will everyone else, with those films," Wood told his interviewer. "I'll do other things. But Frodo I think will always be there, like my little shadow." (Raymond Johnston, Prague Post, August 19, 2004). Now Elijah Wood is reprising the role of Frodo, and his "little shadow" will be entering the light once more.

Read more... )


My, my, how a few splashes of orange and red brighten the palette of a garden. It's been ten days or so since the last garden post, flowers have gone, flowers have come.


In bloom in the tiny east bed are a red 'Champlain' rose, dusty-pink astilbe, orange day lilies, white shasta daisies, fiery asiatic lilies and candy-pink astilbe:




The heat wave arrived, stayed, and is being ushered out (for now) by a line of thunderstorms. It's been storming on and off today, the temperature down twenty five degrees from yesterday. The wind is fitful, lashing the trees and making the rain stream down the east windows when it's blowing, but it feels wonderful.

Read more... )

It's been another week of lovely warm weather, interspersed with drenching but not prolonged rain. Ah, heaven! Read more... )
mechtild: (Default)
( Jul. 5th, 2011 06:06 pm)
June 25, 2011

Yes! We've had FOUR summer days in a row - upper seventies to eighties - even in the nineties away from the lake. The flowers are beginning to do their thing in earnest.

These photos are from yesterday, the 4th of July. It's been nine days since my last garden photos. Read more... )
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