thank you, Viggo
"...just poking around in the debris is worthwhile. Even if you produce stuff that's interesting to nobody but yourself, the activity justifies itself. Making things is a way of finding out."

why thank you? why Viggo?

getting around:
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why not

this isn't the average fan site * you won't find pages of wallpapers i spent hours creating here * you won't find pages of articles i spent hours finding or scanning * you especially won't find auctions for autographed photos or Viggo's books which you can & should buy directly from Perceval Press * the first 2 activites i approve of because i enjoy them & because they make me realize that though i am a shamelessly obsessive type, i have other things to live up to in my precious little gift of time (besides, why compete?) *

Viggo Mortensen is a gorgeous, fascinating man who photographs well & gives great interviews (in at least 3 languages) but i appreciate him most for other reasons * more than his vivid deep eyes i admire their view from the other side of the camera * more than his well-used hands i cherish the words he writes with them & how he uses his velvet to sandpaper voice to read those words (words in at least 5 languages, made-up words, some not words at all) * more than the undeniably lust-worthy body in which he lives i adore how fully, creatively, thoroughly, enthusiastically, generously, thankfully he lives it * it is for these things that i wish to say thank you, Viggo *

coming late to the party

i am ashamed to say that, although i fell for Viggo Mortensen instantly when i accidentally watched 28 Days one night, i didn't bother to remember his name until i finally, reluctantly (i'm not very bright y'see) jumped on the Lord of the Rings bandwagon in late 2002 * boy did i ever fall then... not just for Viggo but ¡ai! from the first orange glow lighting up those perfect-for-Aragorn eyes... i was a goner * the next day i discovered his Perceval Press & i realized that his was a beauty much more than skin deep *

the first book i bought was Recent Forgeries (with a cd full of the velvet voice enclosed) & he had me on page 9 with the quote at the top of this page * it's not that i'd never learned that lesson before but it was a reminder i sorely needed * the day it arrived i took the book & some paper down to the salt water, where i wrote the first poem i had written in many years, my first thank you, Viggo * since that luscious day i have added many of his books to the special bookshelf by my bed (with my Tolkien, Hiaasen & John D MacDonald books) & i have blended bits of his immediate, personal, detail-loving vision slowly into my own *

yellow #1: the yellow on a bridge along the lovely riverside walkway in Corvallis struck me almost as if Viggo had pointed it out to me -- photo by Sienna, February 2004
yellow #1: bridge for Viggo
the yellow on a bridge along the lovely riverside walkway in Corvallis struck me almost as if Viggo had pointed it out to me

expanding my view

some of Viggo's photographs are such a deliciously familiar surprise to me when i first turn to them that i suck in my breath & close my eyes to see them better * some photographs do not lose this effect through many long gazings * there are details he gives a 2-page spread that i didn't think anybody else would ever notice, much less treasure so * i won't presume to say that i am rare in this race but there are few who understand, much less share, my particular, everyday, o-so-human yet not human-centric perspective -- i do not see any part of my own view often through the eyes of others * North, 2002 in Mo Te Upoko-o-te-ika/For Wellington is an extraordinarily ordinary picture that i have tried to capture myself & Viggo's is so perfect i may never try again *

now when i am out snapping photos while i walk with Pippin sometimes i see a picture that seems to come more from Viggo's vision than my own, as if he is pointing out new points of view for me * some friends enter my mind & change the way i perceive the world * some people are friends without ever meeting * it might not be his vision leaking into mine, but it is a vision that never would have joined mine if i weren't witnessing his *

stealing gifts

Viggo is a mentor to me whether or not we ever meet * i do want to meet him, at least to hear him read or to stand in front of some of his photographs & paintings * if you want the truth i want Perceval Press to publish my book (yet a seed in the scattered soil of my mind) * but more than that i want to be him (i know enough to know that statement would make Viggo cringe & i would simply emphasize where i put the emphasis: on the be, not on him): to be continually creative, always writing photographing painting singing adventuring living *

inspired first by the color themes he revisits in nearly every book (i'd like to have Green #2 taking up an entire wall in my house), then by the intriguing Ride series begun (but i'm betting not finished) in The Horse is Good, i took on the naming scheme Viggo often uses for a continuing series marked by a single word & its order in the roll(s) *

i went though all of this year's photographs & named them that way (i did mention i'm obsessive?) but the first of was really yellow #1 above, the first photo i never would have seen without him (from which the textured background for these pages is made) * i walk under that bridge more than once a week & one day last winter i suddenly saw it, saw the glowing clarity of that spreading patch of bright yellow lichen (or mold or what-have-you -- to be honest, i don't care much what men call it) * i walked back to take the picture & even if nobody else loves it, it will hold the honour in my heart as the mark of a turning point in my own artistic vision *

cookie 31: Pippin just caught a cookie -- photo by Sienna, June 2004
cookie 31
Pippin just caught a cookie -- now that's a tough series! but so fun * i may not have started it if i didn't enjoy Viggo's Ride series so much *

i feel i owe Viggo Mortensen -- artist, man, muse -- much that i never will be able to repay * the thing is that it doesn't matter if i can repay him, doesn't matter if he never knows how i am inspired by his beautiful vivid life full of selfish generous art * there is value in the effort alone -- i take joy in simply making the effort to say thank you, Viggo *

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Sienna Moonfire Designs: Pacific Northwest picture stories and website creation is a labour of love & gratitude
by Sienna Moonfire Designs:
last updated 28 June 2004 :: 9:34 am Caspar (Pacific) time
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