Vincent's Yellow

a[n] [auto]biography and a love story.


My new travels begin in less than a week. I wanted to offer an itinerary and a map, so I thought I would put them together myself. This is also the first page in my journal for the trip.

Vincent, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be seeing so much of your work. Although I am visiting all the most important places, I do not have a lot of time to take it all in…

I have been to your museum in Amsterdam before. I went by myself and was so overwhelmed by you I almost began to sob right there. Now I have six days to take that in, and the library too.  I have it arranged so that I can see some of your original sketches – I hope they might even allow me to see some of your paintings in storage. I will be there every day…

Just Amsterdam would be enough to make my heart swell, but I have been lucky enough to fit in a number of other stops, too. I can only imagine what will happen to me when I finally reach your grave in Auvers-sur-Oise.

I see now that this trip might very well be the single most important time for my project. It is certainly one of the largest leaps I have made for you, just as big as moving seven hundred miles and into my parents’ house so I can finish my research without interruption. And now, everything I have read, all I know about you and your thoughts about these places will be infused into my actual presence.

I am quite literally bursting at the seams – I cannot wait to become immersed in you. As you once wrote, “Thus about my work, thus about my person.” For me too, Vincent. Therefore I am really coming to meet you, so much of you, more than ever before. To think on my last research trip I was so grateful for the eight paintings I saw, and now, well now I might very well see over two hundred!

I am lucky, I am honored, and mostly, I am faithful. You know I will always be faithful to you.

Today’s quote: How short life is and how like smoke. Which is no reason for despising the living, on the contrary. So we are right to care more for the artists than for the pictures. (31 July 1888)

Fri, July 31 2009 » Personal, Research, Travel

Leave a Reply