"My idea of a good day is to stay at home and do whatever the hell I want..."
who me? / Viggo who?
you may have noticed that this site is more about me than it is about Viggo -- or at least that's the intent (so far -- i extend my invitation to you as well) * unlike the multilingual, multicultural Viggo Mortensen, i speak only one language (& even in that my skill is questionable!) & have my roots sunk into only one place: the West Coast of the US * i do have a passion for languages, especially Spanish -- * by my count, Viggo has learned at least a conversation's worth of 8 or more different languages , in 3 of which he's fluent... at the height of my skill, while i was travelling around the Pacific Rim with my folks, i could say things like "thank you," "a beer, please" & "where's the bathroom?" in maybe 6 languages besides my own (& only one is mine) * i can hold a decent conversation en español due to a life of (half-assed) study & 2 (priceless) months in Nicaragua, but it still involves a lot of searching hesitation & waving of arms (not to mention the good-natured patience of most Spanish-speaking peoples) * i have been lucky to travel to many countries & to meet people from many more, but i have only lived on the West Coast, loving all 3 of its states with all my heart * as i am about to move back to my birth-home to be near my family in the lovely little town of Caspar, i doubt i will live up to my threat to move to Barcelona or to head South & keep going any time soon * there goes my dream of fluency...
i'm not trying to compare myself to my idol ...he'd cringe at that one too but, along with his endless creativity, what i idolize in him is his very human-ness -- his celebration of his own personal experience as a part of the great whole; his near-total refusal to feel sorry for himself (see his choice of opener for G.I. Jane), nor to hold himself above any other (no-ego Viggo); the way he makes art like he's drawing on the sand, like the process is what matters more than anything... * ahem... if you've clicked around you've seen that i have a sloppy passion for words * i get started with one thought & get caught up with several more along the way * my scampering fingers can never keep up with my wandering mind, & yet they keep trying to get it all down -- it's about the process for me too (who am i really talking to here? Viggo, an unknown you, myself...) *
so what else do i do? i work on the web * i adore my pup, Pippin, spoiling him with treats & frequent trips to the river -- & he patiently puts up with my need to stop every two steps to take a picture or 7 (i adore my digital camera too) * i am gathering a virtual exhibition of my photographs (all with tracings of Viggo inspiration, some of them reeking of it) which has been growing quickly because there are few things i'd rather be doing these days * my excuse when i play on the web (you'd think i'd find other things to do with my free time! i've heard that Viggo gets so much done because he doesn't have a tv & i'd venture to guess he doesn't have a computer either) is that i'm learning valuable skills i can use in my work * the other excuse is that this is my work * really, if there is anything of value i can offer to the world, to my friends (met or unmet), to my descendants, it is simply my own full experience of it all *
lado del rio 15: self-portrait
Pippin jumps for a cookie on the side of the Willamette River
(click for the cookie slide show)
i know you know who Viggo is * at least you know his name, some of his movies, some of his art, that he has a beautiful, if clumsily gotten, scar on his upper lip & a tattoo of the Elvish 9 somewhere on his o-so-healthy body (& that he is one of the few hold-outs who hasn't shown it publicly -- but i bet you'd like to see it!) *
i don't think that's who he is *
i have many ideas about who Viggo is but i only know him as he has entered my life * i only know him through my own eyes (ears, dreams...) & i would like to introduce that Viggo here, by way of explanation of my reasons for creating this site for him (more than a thank you) *
Viggo as i know him
the Viggo that i know is the one laid down in the books * the one that smells like fresh paper & comes in all different sizes * the one who bleeds willingly in yellow, orange & green: whose eyes catch color & hold it with hands wide open * the one enlightened: lover of light, whose photographs follow & hide behind light * the one who seeks -- & finds & really sees -- the ordinary everywhere * the one who first fell in love with Green #2 & showed it to me so that i could too *
the Viggo that i know is the one who speaks sings whispers the poems * tiny poems, gigantic poems, fleeting poems, timeless poems, his poems, poems from other voices, in other languages, poems that are stories (bed time stories for Henry) * the one who voices the poems that aren't exactly poems or songs or stories, that don't have words, at least not sentences, but that are born one moment in his heart & repeat for me, sending me to sleep & entering my dreams...
the Viggo that i know is the one who appears in my dreams & offers me guidance * the one in the dream who came, bearing beautiful, handmade gifts to play at poetry with my poet friends & me * the one in the dream who died over & over for his cause yet was deeply pleased to go for coffee with me * the one into whose dream home i snuck & found a painting so moving i cried telling my mom about it * the one who gave me a beer & disappeared as soon as i spoke to him *
the Viggo that i know is the one whose eyes look out at me from my Return of the King poster * the one holding sunlight in his hand that graced my desktop for some time (i just changed it to the hand in the next item) * the one whose face & voice portray so much about each of his characters, each complex, each beloved, each deeper than his script * the one who loves Diane Lane's trapped wife, & her true-hearted husband, her whole family, in A Walk on the Moon * the one who admires O'Neil, even as he beats her face bloody *
the Viggo that i know is the one whose inspiration drives him so hard he'll write on whatever's handy *
the Viggo that i know is the one i imagine on location, on a horse even, with a camera tucked under his costume somewhere, or within easy reach for any opportunity * the one full of scraps of poems & stories & ideas written as they come or waiting still for the next free moment -- or to keep him up all night * the one who if he isn't working, is working * the one with no time for tv, no time for feeling sorry for himself, no time for boredom or laziness ...but always time for his son, for the horses, for interviews, for supporting other poets & artists, for languages, people, & every natural wonder of this exquisite world *
i think if i were to meet the real Viggo i would find this Viggo in him but i know that until that meeting (which i do not expect) i only know the Viggo i've taken, from any source available, into my life, into my heart & who leaks into my art in the most unexpected ways *
to the real Viggo i would like to say, as he seems to say in so many movies:
i see you * i see that you are Frank, you are Aragorn, you are Perceval & more than anything, you are your own vivid, layered self whom you know better than any other, especially me, ever will * but i do see you, Viggo & i am thankful *
unless otherwise noted, all images, photographs & writing are
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