Vincent's Yellow

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


It has come to my attention in the past week or so that the tree outside my window turns yellow. This room is  my studio these days, but it used to be my bedroom for many years. I never noticed the yellow. Lately, this view makes me very happy.

In general, Vincent has gotten me to look up more often – at the sky, at the sun, the clouds, and also the trees. Actually, he’s gotten me to look at everything in nature more carefully, and with more appreciation. It’s not so hard to do, one just has to leave time for a quiet walk or bike ride (without a cell phone) – and you’ll find inner peace is close behind. Well, as long as you can stay present in the moment. There was a quote I chose the other day from one of his letters, which articulates something that has become so obvious to me over the past two years doing my research:

I’ve had a time of nervous, barren stress when I had days when I couldn’t find the most beautiful countryside beautiful, precisely because I didn’t feel myself part of it. That’s what pavements and the office — and care — and nerves — do.”
12 October 1883 to Theo

So many of us forget that we are a part of nature, that human beings do not need money, we need food and air. Certain societal concepts overthrow us, separate us from what’s actually present and alive; they make us chase phantoms instead of appreciating the wonders that are around us every day.

Walking to work the other day I came upon a particularly exquisite tree.

I couldn’t tear myself away without capturing more of it. It was a canopy of yellow.

Trees in particular have come to my attention, because they often grow to be as old as any human (and in many cases, much older!), they offer shelter, give us wood, paper, and oxygen. I think of them as the humans of plant life. Oh yeah – and goddamn, are they ever beautiful.

I’d be quite happy if heaven looks something like this.

Vincent also speaks of trees often, and in one letter wrote “those trees were superb; there was drama in each figure I was going to say, but I mean in each tree,” (4 Sept 1883) – and completely charmed my pants off.

I hope you’ll start looking at some things differently too, Reader… In fact, that’s one of my foremost goals.

Fri, October 23 2009 » Personal

2 Responses

  1. Timmy Caldwell October 23 2009 @ 23:53

    This entry stunned and soothed me. Neat trick.

  2. Teresa October 24 2009 @ 01:05

    Awesome separated alliteration. ;)

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