by Viggo Mortensen
36 pages, 6″ x 9″, softcover
Words and images by Viggo Mortensen
This small book contains a single long poem, written during the 2020 pandemic lockdown. It is illustrated with drawings made while listening to U.S. radio broadcasts largely concerned with the socio-political effects of the Trump presidency. Eudaimonia is an abstract Greek noun comprised of the words “eu” (good, well) and “daimon” (spirit). It is generally taken to refer to well-being or to living well. Definitions, a dictionary of Greek philosophical terms attributed to Plato himself, but thought by modern scholars to have been written by his immediate followers in the Academy, provides the following definition of the word eudaimonia: “The good composed of all goods; an ability which suffices for living well; perfection in respect of virtue; resources sufficient for a living creature.” I suppose the word can also refer to the peace of mind that can come from accepting the vicissitudes of our bodies and the environments we inhabit, even as we struggle to adapt to and comprehend them. After all, there can hardly be well-being or living well if one refuses to acknowledge the inevitable ravages of nature and its endless ability to regenerate itself.