Night

Reading: Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, by Vincent Van Gogh
Listening: Night, Zola Jesus

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”
  (Vincent Van Gogh)

Paris, Musée d’Orsay, in a room wrapped with his paintings, I finally understood Vincent Van Gogh.  I’d never been particularly interested before that moment.  I thought of him in the same way I’ve always stubbornly thought of the Beatles: they have enough fans.  But as I stood mesmerized by the abundance of Van Gogh’s work, I thought about his story.  He didn’t start painting until he was twenty-eight, and even then, when he did start manifesting his vision, no one shared it.  He only ever saw one painting sold.  One.  But still he painted, and painted, and painted.
That is what I was overcome by, and what finally brought me to tears on the top floor of d’Orsay.  I could feel the excitement, the vision, the loneliness, the frustration, dripping from each canvas.  I was surrounded by paintings whose creator knew no one would want.
Still, he painted.
May I find that obstinate bravery?

Images via.

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