Vincent's Yellow

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

A cabin

What I think is the best life, oh without even the slightest shadow of a doubt, is a life made up of long years of being in touch with nature out of doors — and with the something on high — unfathomable, ‘awfully Unnameable’, because one can’t find a name for it — above that nature. (5 November 1883 to Theo)


Lately I dream of a cabin. I dream of going up and away. I dream of a fireplace and my books, of paper and ink with tea on the stove, of no electricity and warm, warm blankets. I dream of long walks along the mountainside or riverside or the heath or the forest — I dream of clearing my mind. I dream of more Time. I dream of immersing myself in you, totally, completely, utterly, without interruption. I suppose it is a dream of many writers.

In your letters which I am perusing of late, there is special time in 1883 in which you escaped. For a few months, you ran away from all civilization, finally cut the strings between yourself and your lover Sien, and went to Drenthe, in the northeastern Netherlands. It is the most rural place you ever lived as a painter; it is the only place I did not get to visit on my trip to Europe. I am sure my dream of a cabin haunts me because of these letters, and because of this place lodged only in my imagination, and not in my memories.

You were lonely there, and, unlike in Arles with Gauguin, no one ever came to join you.

I’ve been planning today to write about the cabin (a fantasy that grows more tangible as the days pass), and then the quote at the beginning of this post is how you open your letter to Theo today. An incredible article also was published today about an architect who uses whole trees in the houses and greenhouses that he designs, and how whole trees prove more economical, better for the environment, and stronger too. And we know how I feel about trees.

Finally, as if to overwhelm me completely, I noticed a church yesterday on my way to work (a walk I’ve been taking for weeks now) and I realize the building is quite old. As I approach, I find it is an old house – built in 1883. In Chicago.

I can’t wait to find a way inside.

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Thu, November 5 2009 » Personal, Research

4 Responses

  1. Timmy Caldwell November 5 2009 @ 13:18

    Oh boy. This is a wonderful entry. Thanks, Teresa, for sharing your dream(s) with us.

  2. Judy Veramendi November 6 2009 @ 17:08

    Thank you for a lovely pause in a hectic day…

  3. Shannon November 6 2009 @ 22:24

    lets go rent a cabin together! wait though, i suppose that might defeat your purpose. :) love!

  4. Teresa November 7 2009 @ 20:48

    Tim and Judy – you are quite welcome.

    Shannon – I think with just two people wouldn’t be *too* bad. :)

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