Sep 3 2010

Starry, Starry Dark Night of the Soul

or Insanity and Spiritual Songs


Van Gogh’s work has been regarded by some as “hallucinatory,” however his letters show that few artists were as intelligent and rational. His work was not the product of his dark times but of his struggle against them.

“I am feeling well just now… I am not strictly speaking mad, for my mind is absolutely normal in the intervals, and even more so than before. But during the attacks it is terrible—and then I lose consciousness of everything. But that spurs me on to work and to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger and makes haste in what he does.” [1]

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Mar 11 2010

Seeing In The Dark

or Wax Moon Faces and Books with Pores


“It often seems to me that the night is much more
alive and richly colored than the day.”

—Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo in 1888

Last week I had the privilege of viewing seven Van Goghs, all in one room, including Starry Night Over the Rhone, the depth and texture of which has to be seen to be believed.

The impressionists went out of their way not to paint what they saw. They stretched and strained the norms to communicate how it made them feel. They were expounding—explaining—reality. As Jordan writes, made in the image of God, man is the only symbol which is also a symbol-maker. [1]

This post has been slain and resurrected for inclusion in my 2015 book of essays, Inquietude.

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