Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wheatfield in the Rain

I have been sick for the last four days, a type of flu bug apparently that seemed to pass through my body in waves and cause intense head and muscle aches and fever that would soak out of me only to return over and over. I was sincerely afraid to go to church this morning which would put me in close proximity to lots of people and lots of body heat. I did manage the grocery store in a mild fog, and while I was in the store the song "Vincent" by Don McLean, was playing quietly in the background. I felt like I've been in an institution for the last few days, out of my right mind due to illness, with time to sit and read like I haven't had in weeks, and to dream about things that I haven't had time to do. School and ministry responsibilities ran me ragged the past week.
So today is the first day I've not been plagued by a monster wave of body aches, and Vincent stayed with me. I love the lyrics to the song:
Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eye that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn and bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow
Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will
I have wondered why life has turned out this way, often times how my gifts and limitations will work together, what's the purpose and end of it all, why do we suffer and struggle? Vincent van Gogh's work is instantly recognizeable by even non-art lovers today. But he started out wanting to be a minister. His love was the common man, the peasants and poor, and he never quite found the blessings of religious powers that be to release him to serve. He turned to painting the common instead. "Starry Night", the first image, is probably one of his most well-known. I have included a few favorites of my own, not so well-known. The boots I just love. The following figure grouping and portrait are "Potato Eaters", the people he wanted to serve and came to know. Finally, a reproduction of which the original hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, probably my all time favorite van Gogh, which few people know or have seen, "Wheatfield in the Rain". When I saw this piece hanging in the museum, it was as if for an instant, I felt the artist's mind and perception-I looked through his eyes. At this point in his life, Vincent was committed to an insane asylum. It is impossible to look at this work and not feel his soul. I suppose the suffering releases the essence of our being into the world. I'm so thankful someone had the courage to put it on canvas. It helps me to know these struggles are worth the cost.


Blogger sparrow said...

psssst! You won at Marmies... THAT will cure you!


2:54 PM  

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