Guylty has set a Valentine’s Day Richard Armitage challenge, it even has it’s own hashtag (#CelebRAteLove), and I just had to heed the call. Even though I am not really big on the V-day holiday – I prefer to love my loved ones all year round – I do like a very occasional blogging challenge. So, here goes…
The first thing that came to mind when I thought of Valentine’s Day and Richard Armitage was this video that I really love, made 5 years ago by Bccmee …
When I look at this video, it makes me feel happy and makes me appreciate yet again that I do still really love Richard Armitage. It’s been pretty much 11 years since I first saw him in North & South and I was hooked…
Even now, 11 years later, I still love this and my heart still totally soars and melts at the train station scenes..
Valentine’s Day and Richard also makes me think of the Love Poems that were read by him and released on Valentine’s Day 2 years ago. I first thought I’d use the ‘How Do I Love Thee’ poem as a thread throughout this post as I really love that poem and really like hearing it in Richard’s voice…
For this challenge I was going to use each line of the poem, transfer the meaning to Richard and then write about that. However, when I listen to the words of the poem, I find that they become meaningful to me in relation to my husband and have nothing to do with Richard anymore! The depth of love in that poem and even the domesticity of it (“I love thee to the level of everyday’s most quiet need, by sun and candle-light“) pretty much exactly describes how I feel about my husband. It is so heartwarming that something my favourite actor has done puts into words so perfectly what I feel for my favourite man! It also puts into perspective for me how I love both my husband and Richard but how I love each of them in very different ways. My favourite man once took a picture of me with my favourite actor…
… and I feel blessed that I can share this Richard-thing with him! I have a very special husband who, with a twinkle in the eye, supports me in all of my fangirling. He even reads all my blog posts and sometimes lovely talks spring from that (we had a very nice Lucas Bryant conversation after dinner on Sunday night, for instance). There are very many forms of loving and I find that loving both my husband and Richard goes together well. One is a real, all-encompassing and tangible love, the other is a love from afar and is also a gateway to worlds other than my own.
This post is supposed to be about Richard Armitage and not my husband. So, instead of using the ‘How Do I Love Thee’ poem literally as a thread as I had first intended to, let me instead use it as an inspiration. I don’t love Richard in the same way as in that poem but let me examine how I do love thee, Richard… I can’t really love thee as a brother or a lover or a friend because I don’t know thee personally. I only know the glimpses we are allowed into thine heart and soul through work and interviews and appearances and tweets.
So, how do I love Richard? Let me count the ways:
- I find that there is a soulfulness in Richard’s work that reaches out to me and makes me feel connected to the stories and the characters he portrays (even though there are many characters I don’t necessarily like).
- I find that he is a pleasure to look at. Granted, tall dark handsome really is my type, but something makes him stick out for me, even more than say Pierce Brosnan or Hugh Jackman or latest squeeze Lucas Bryant (yes, even with my current level of obsession with Lucas) or even Colin Firth… I blame the intensity in his eyes and the expression on his face that exudes something… extra… hidden depths, maybe…an intelligence… a strength of feelings…
- I find that his deep warm hot chocolate voice strikes a real chord with me, combine that with the accent and yes, I am done for. My phone ringtone is Richard singing “Far over the misty mountains cold…”, for obvious reasons.
- I find that I feel connected through things I find important that seem to be important to Richard as well. For instance, people seem important to him and he feels like a humanitarian to me, he seems to be leaning in the same political direction as I am, he likes chocolate and red wine like I do and need I mention yet again my glee at him liking Muse? Love is about feeling connected and I feel connected with him on many fronts.
- I find that, just like with people in my real life, I can love him and still be frustrated with him sometimes.
- I find that, just like with people in my real life, he can like things I don’t like (skiing, for instance) and I can still love him.
- I find that he has been ‘with me’ for so long that intensity of feeling sometimes ebbs a bit because there is no way that intensity can always burn that bright. Yet he is always there in an undercurrent of my consciousness and every scrap of news about him always pulls me right back in again.
- I find that I can use the image I have of him or of characters he has portrayed and become creative with them in the occasional writing I still try to do now and again.
- I find that he attracts some very lovely fans to interact with, which in recent years has also deepened the fan experience for me (this challenge is one such example).
In the end, I find I can love Richard in all sorts of ways and to a certain degree he almost becomes real to me: as a lover in a story I may write, or as a brother when I think he could use a little guidance, or as a friend when we share Muse songs, or as an artist who can show me all sorts of facets of the human experience. I tell my husband I love him every day and on this one day, Valentine’s Day, I’m adding an ‘I love you’ to Richard as well in the form of this post.
So, Richard Armitage, today you are my Valentine and maybe I – along with all your other fans – can in a way be your Valentine(s) too!
Happy Valentine’s Day one and all!