My uncle -- the one I have all my life simply called Uncle -- is approaching the end of his years. He has been a world traveller, a student of life and a profound inspiration to his slightly rambunctious, overeager nephew. He is fading as I would like to go: slowly, and with full mental capacity. He is aware that his time is ending, and has made his peace with the movement of life.
When I called him recently, we both seemed to arrive at the same idea simultaneously: he would like to see me again, and I would like to sit at his feet one more time. He is interested in keeping me by his side as he finds a way to navigate this final passage, and I am humbled by the opportunity to support him and witness, at his request, what is so often an extremely private time.
It was not at all difficult to say yes. It has been hard, though, to explain to those closest to me why I feel a need to go on this journey. It is, by its nature, a solitary one, and one that has no set end date. I have been moved by Tom and Milla's support of this somewhat solemn adventure; it seems I have been so absent over the last year, and now I am about to absent myself yet again. I am grateful for their leniency with me and their understanding of this unusual but very strong desire to accept this call.
I had a nap this afternoon and dreamed there was an eclipse. In the backyard, we looked up at the sky and saw that the stars were very bright. As we stood in the grass, the stars started falling from the sky. They were small glowing orbs by the time they reached the ground, just small enough to be held in one hand.
Small dragons crept out from underneath our shrubs and trees, and from under the hammock and other shaded places. They were slightly larger than cats, and once they determined the backyard was safe, they galloped around the yard in an elated, gecko-like flailing run, tackling the star orbs and biting into them. They ate all the orbs in the backyard, which left them lolling on their backs with distended bellies and satisfied expressions as they nodded off to sleep.
Backdated to Monday, 10/17
"Hi, Alan, it's Viggo. I'm very well now. Thanks for checking on me. That was a very important scene for me, and it went even better than I expected when we spoke in the bar about it. It served its purpose well, and I thank you for doing that for me. It shook me right out of the weird funk I had going. I hope we get to see each other again. I'd like that, I think. As a scene or just to talk. Maybe you could come to my house for dinner sometime, if you're not allergic to dogs or vegetarian products...[sound of yipping in the background] That's Molly, she heard me say 'dog,' I think. I'd better get off the phone and hand out treats before I'm mauled -- thanks again, Alan."
Backdated to Saturday, October 15. Happens the day after Alan and Viggo make plans at the bar.
( 'Get the fuck off me,' he growls, startled when he hears the words in the air. )
I've been absent from the journals for a long while. Absent from myself even longer, maybe.
I'm in a strange place these days. A History of Violence was so deep, so all-encompassing to me, difficult to shed, and then on its heels came Alatriste and I lost myself all over again, and came back to myself, and now it almost feels as if the cycle is beginning again.
I don't know if it's the timing or some other set of factors I can't put my finger on, but the press for History seems to draw me back to how it felt to be Tom Stall. Maybe it's that when I look in the mirror, I don't look significantly different from him anymore. I leaned on that a little too hard, maybe. I used the hair and the moustache to get myself out of Tom Stall and into Alatriste, and now that the Alatriste look is gone and History is on everyone's minds and on their lips and in their reviews, I'm back there again.
I don't think this is a negative thing. I don't know that it's a positive one, either. It's just a thing. It's what's happening.
I feel like I've been gone much longer than I have. A lifetime, maybe. Alatriste's lifetime. Rarely have I felt so glad to see the smoggy skies and clogged freeways of Los Angeles.
I have found myself again beneath all that hair, thanks to Tom, and I have found myself in my head and my heart again, also attributable to Tom. I still feel that there is a part of me not yet recovered; I have lost track of so many of my friends and chosen family while I was away. I hope to catch up with many of you soon.
It's good to be home, in all senses of the word.
From the Wayback Machine...after that tabloid article, Vig and Milla have a barbecue and hot hot sex (June 10).
And in realtime, Viggo returns from Spain, a little confused and disconnected but really, really glad to see Tom.
I have been away, in every sense.
The news of Hurricane Katrina traveled quickly and saddened all of us. The news of the governmental response has not come as quickly or as reliably, and inspires only outrage. My thoughts are with those who have been victimized twice by these events. Please donate money or time to the relief efforts if you are able, and remember this tragedy the next time you hold a ballot in your hand.
Filming has been intense and difficult to emerge from. Tom, Milla, and Leo's visit was much appreciated but over far too soon, and since that time my days have been filled with very physically demanding shoots and as much sleep as I can manage. We are almost done. I will miss this place and these people, and I will miss Alatriste, but I will be most happy to return home.
I miss all of you already.
Backdated to 8/24
To: shadow_tom, resident_milla, leo
Subject: filming break
Tom, Milla, Leo,
The break is abruptly upon us. There will be no filming on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday (28-30). You are all welcome to visit if you are able to come on such short notice.
I am deeply into the process. I am not sure where I will be in this time. I hope to be able to ground myself enough to make use of this time off in the way it was intended, but I've never tried it this way before.
I miss each of you very much and hope to see you, regardless of my cogency or lack thereof.
Love across the waves,
I'm going to bed after a very long day. Too tired to call or e-mail. I love you, Tom. I love you, Milla. I'll write more when I'm rested.
Tom, Milla, I thought of both of you tonight.
Today, I visited the town of Ujue. Their fortified church is a source of some history and intriguing design. It's becoming more and more difficult to find Roman churches with properly-preserved depictions of sexual "evils."
Ujue and its surroundings were a much-needed source of inspiration and solitude for me today. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, connected once more with the soil.
At the same time, I feel less and less connected with my friends and chosen family across the seas. Any pictures of home any of you would care to send along in comments would be much appreciated.
Delivered from Spain, ( presents for Tom. )
Delivered from Spain, ( presents for Milla. )
I have come to the point where fatigue is a palpable physical sensation. I had forgotten the breakneck pace of a production in its first few days. There has been very little filming; I have spent a great deal of time in wardrobe and in swordfighting class. I have never understood why these two things seem to be scheduled at the same time. As with Rings, I have already been taken to task by the wardrobe mistress for the subtle changes in my body shape after a few days with a blade.
However, I am eating my butter and chocolate, as promised.
I have also made a new friend, who kindly posed for a picture.
Tom, there is a small area just off the beach near my hotel where the sand is very fine, and the waves seem a little gentler. I am convinced it is a dragon breeding ground.
Milla, I will send you a package soon. I had a few hours to visit the shops here, and found a number of things that made me think of you.
My room has a balcony with a hammock. It's very warm today. I'm going to try for a nap before my mock duel this evening. Hello and fond thoughts of those of you in the States and across the pond.
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