Friday, February 08, 2013

Van Gogh, Paulina and me

(italics are either Van Gogh, or quotes from the Van Gogh Museum)

I met a beautiful blond Dutch girl last night named Paulina.  It was her birthday so I asked her the 4 birthday questions.  She was 26, and troubled by the age.  She said she felt as if she hadn't accomplished enough.

Brush strokes that hold together and intertwine, with feeling like a piece of music played with a brush.

Vincent Van Gogh was 27 when he started painting.  Yellows, blues and oranges.

Van Gogh believed that the colours themselves had expressive power.  For him, colour was the ideal meaning of conveying an atmosphere or an emotion.  When, after years of experimenting, he had gained an intuitive understanding of how to use color most effectively he sometimes chose colours that charged the scene with symbolic meaning.

The blue lilies that I remembered so well from my own walls, once upon a time in Houston.

You'll understand that the combination of red ochre, of green saddened with grey, of black lines that define the outlines, that give rise to the feeling of anxiety from which some of my companions in misfortune often suffer, and which is called "seeing red."

Hail came down and I sat in a chair- the only one facing outwards, staring out the thick glass into a world turned white snow globe.  I watch it swirl and collect over the buds of lilies to bloom.

Colour expresses something in itself.

My fingers are stained with orange that I bought from a Moroccan grocer.  In Arabic, we offered greetings and God's praise.  Bismillah.

It was a small delicious mandarina whose residue still coats my fingers.

To Paulina et al, I would say that it is never too late (Or in the curious case of Benjamin Button, too early)

It was at 26 that I really started to live, to travel (not that lines are any more firm than Van Gogh's own lines).  Since then, I have seen half the world, while the other half semi-patiently rests.

While I cannot paint like Vincent,  I paint my own pictures with a lens to the world.  I find my own white canvases to cover with black ink.

In the harbor below, I see Utopia.  A house boat named Utopia gently rocks.  I have been accused of not being part of the real world.  To that, I laugh.  Don Pablo Quixote has his own windmill world to tilt at.

With a nod to Gore Vidal, words (and worlds) define us.  I create my own world (and my own words, from time to time) that are as utopian as the boat only the gentle evening tide.

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