Sunday, November 28, 2010

Always An Event About To Happen.

They say bad things happen in threes. I guess my three bad things had stockpiled because they all came rushing unexpectedly into my life recently. First, my sister became ill and we almost lost her. Then, my 23 year old daughter became ill and was hospitalized. Lastly, I fell at the bookstore.

When I say I fell, I do not mean that I simply slipped and got knocked down on my bum. One of the kids who works at the store left a large plastic tote on a walkway, one I did not see until it was too late. I went over it, meeting the floor with my two eye teeth and face, just about knocking myself out. (It's debatable as to whether I actually did lose consciousness, tho I believe I did not.) I ended up with a fat lip which made me look in profile a lot like Marge Simpson.

Even if I did not lose consciousness, I did shake my brain and could not even gather my senses enough to call for help. After about five seconds, i was able to make a noise and folks came to my rescue and I was taken to the doctor.

After many many xrays, they determined that I had a cervical sprain and a couple loose teeth (they still hurt.) I have road rash on my face but I'm glad to say that the extreme swelling on my upper lip is beginning to go away.

I am sore. I feel foolish but I got back up on the saddle and went to the bookstore the next day, tho I did not need to do this.

My sister is recuperating as is my daughter. My pain is slowly lessening and all seems to be righting itself.

I am tired of being a event about to happen. But you know what? Thursday my family and I prepared the usual huge Thanksgiving dinner and sincerely expressed gratitude for all the good things in our life. Even tho this trio of bad events happened, we are so blessed that there were optimum outcomes all the way around.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paul the Arsonist (or, Why I love Vinnie.)

In my younger life, there were several milk toast men who had become enamored with me. They were all pleasant, sweet, compliant young men, men who would have tried to move the earth and the heavens if they believed it would have made me happy. Most SMART young women would have felt blessed with these Charles Bovary types. Not I. Not at all. I would have rather run into the abyss upon their exclamations of love. I preferred the passionate sort, the ones who exhibited a lust for life. The ones who made my father shudder.

My first 'luster for life' was a brooding teenage boy named Paul. Paul had that bad boy brooding look. In my fifteen year old mind, I thought he was beautiful. Troubled, sure, but nonetheless, beautiful.

Paul was a neighborhood boy. I had decided that my life legacy would be as a 'SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.' At least that was my excuse for going through a long period in my mid teens as being 'SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.' I would be akin to the saints, a lover of the unlovable, a healer of the troubled. And Paul was troubled.

Beej, Savior of the World.

I first felt affection for him after he was released from some juvenile institute to which he had been 'assigned' after he burned a couple of abandoned buildings to the ground. Yup. Paul was an arsonist. He was my first attempt at 'saving.' Of course, I did not save Paul. He eventually dissolved into a black hole of my feelings and I'm sure I moved on to my next venture as, 'SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.'

Having said all that, and probably revealing more to you about myself than I would ever want to reveal, I am using that story as an example of my basic nature to explain why I love Vincent Van Gogh as much as I do. If any person had ever lived a troubled life, it was Vincent. Of course his art expressed his 'lust for life' (which is, of course, the title of a book by Irving Stone about Van Gogh, a book I have just finished reading.) I love his art but it is the man behind the art that truly enthralls me.

Take his ear, or more accurately, his ear lobe. why did Vinnie lop off his ear lobe? Because an underage prostitute asked him for it! Now, that's passion! (I must tell you tho, that this hooker, upon unwrapping the paper holding the lobe, passed out cold on the foyer floor. It was this act of ultimate generosity that landed our dear artist in the insane asylum.)

I am not a fan of physical mutilation. I do not find that attractive. But it was the passion behind the act that captured my heart.

A lust for life is not the same as a love for life. We all love life, whether we want to admit it. it's the lust, the LUST for life that is so very attractive to me. It's a passion to feel all of life, to see colors brighter, to have the energy, both physically and emotionally, to go for the gusto.

Okay, maybe Van Gogh was more than passionate. He was a genius. Smart and passionate?

Oh yes. Now that's the magical mix.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Potato Eaters

We have all seen Van Gogh's painting, 'Irises:'

and 'Starry Night:'

But this one is a bit different:

This is called 'The Potato Eaters' and was painted not long before his introduction to the Impressionists, the likes of Gauguin, Lautrec, Monet, Manet, Degas. This one was painted in dark hues, hues he used to capture the colors of the potatoes, the soil and the dismal life of the potato pickers whom he described as caught in the dregs of darkness, every bit as much as the coal miners he painted while living in the Borinage area of Belgium.

I have a special love for this painting because it was done prior to his move to Paris, prior to the influences of the artists he met there. This is pure, raw Van Gogh. These are the people he knew, and knew well. This particular family was not simply one he paid to pose. These were his closest friends, especially the young girl in the foreground. She was very close to him, close enough where, when she, at the age of seventeen, became pregnant, Vincent was almost forced to wed her under the priest's incorrect presumption that he was the father.

I wonder how different Van Gogh's art would have been had he wed this young thing and stayed in Nuenen. Would he, without the influence if the Impressionists, have continued to paint in dark hues and straight lines? Would the world have never known the beauty of the lightness of his colors?
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