Vincent's Yellow

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

First draft, first steps

One hundred and twenty five years later, the signature Vincent scratched off on a letter to his brother is engraved into my skin. It was my 28th birthday, I had finished the first draft of my book, and when the tattoo artist asked “you want it exactly the same as he wrote it, no?” I nodded with a knowing smile. His name marks the beginning of the end of a most incredible journey.

Two weeks ago when I finished my first draft, I realized that I was the same age as Vincent when he decided to become an artist. Suddenly, all the timing made sense to me, the many spinning cycles of the book were weaving themselves into a perfect close, and I knew that Vincent had delicately shepherded me into my first steps as an artist. The book is more of an artistic manifesto than I could have ever predicted, its foundations permanently set into my skin like his paint was absorbed into his canvas.

photo by Sean O'Brien

I am here to love the living in all times, to sing nature’s gospel, and reflect every buzzing beam of light into every dark and silent corner of the world. I have awakened to the shape of things, and now I ride Time’s ever-evolving gyre with beauty and history as my trusty trailblazers. And while I may doubt myself from time to time, it is impossible to doubt my path. Nothing can deter me from sharing Vincent’s yellow with the world, just as he shared it with me.

We need his yellow; the man proved it to me himself — through Time.¬†For humanity cannot have enough of Vincent, we have recreated his story and his images millions of times in the century since his death, we make all nine hundred letters he wrote to his brother publicly available, and these days, it is a “once in a lifetime experience” to share a previously unknown painting of his with the world, a painting which he regarded as a failure. His studies become our treasures.

So when his painting escaped my locket one day not so long ago, I replaced it with my photograph of his yellow in his field of wheat in Auvers where he departed from this world. That light was his destiny. It is my destiny to share it.

Can I distill his soul, his colors, all he taught me, how he changed me, and the world, into a potent potion of words?

I whisper to you, dear reader, my greatest secret: I have all the ingredients.

Soon, you will be able to drink up yourself. For when I hold my first draft in my hands, it is heavy as a newborn, charged as a spell book, and eager to shine as the sun.

Soon you will be able to taste it, one orbit at a time, here at

Wed, September 11 2013 » Personal, Writing the Book

2 Responses

  1. Emma September 11 2013 @ 20:02

    Yellow? So evocative!

  2. Teresa September 11 2013 @ 23:02

    Emma, yes! Any painter will tell you, we need more yellow… :)

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