For the Good of All ~ Vincent Van Gogh

The sun broke into flaming fields of wheat beyond his path, beyond his mind. Broad strokes of evening painted their fences and forever trapped the young artist with a love so blind. Vincent van Gogh spent his life behind a dark mask, illuminating his world in sunflower gold, and yellow stars with circular stories to contrast.

Into the ground, the muffled sound, the heart that beats as it sows. Reaching for light, the visions bright, Vincent turned his eyes to what a soul grows. Forever bound in poverty, he knew the stillness of birth, his older brother’s legacy in the hard, cold Earth.

Desperate his soul to see the light, to feel the colors of God’s delight. Insight bound in geometric lines, Vincent moved into the yellow house in France with Paul Gauguin in his hardest of times. Ill at ease with his destiny, he ate bits of bread and painted to set his mind free.

Amid the gloom and glowing embers, Vincent van Gogh joined the age of artistry with its distinguished impressionistic members. In rivers of turpentine he sailed his soul, until his mind fell into the darkest hole.

In fits of starvation the young Vincent wed, his temperament cutting, his ear spliced from his head. In his rage of darkness, this genius fled, looking for life in what was now dead.

The mind it sparks the wicked flame, into utter poverty his madness came. Full proof the passion he bore, his love interests were reckless, pitiful, his heart’s whores. Such is life, the salt, the unkempt, the soul’s marriage to the discontent.

Wealth abounded in his demise, Vincent van Gogh mastered his art, but his soul encountered stars in the darkest of skies. In a fit of mental fatigue, his death by pistol has delivered such psychological intrigue.

The sun broke into flaming fields of wheat beyond his path, beyond his mind. Broad strokes of evening painted their fences and forever trapped the young artist with a love so blind.

Vincent van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime. Today, his paintings command over 50 million. In utter poverty his mind was sharpened for our destiny into his starry night.

From the darkest of skies he speaks to us:

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

“I don't know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.”

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“If you hear a voice within you say, "You cannot paint“, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

“The fishermen knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

“I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.”

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.”

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.”

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.”

― Vincent van Gogh 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890

Kathy Paysen 2012

The Van Gogh of Poetry

Dear Kathy,

I read this piece with avid fascination. I love history, but I had never really read up on Van Gogh, apart from the bits that everyone knows. So it was a most enjoyable opportunity to learn more about him from your wonderful poem. The fact that you made it a 'poetic narrative' is amazing. Maybe you are the Van Gogh of poetry. Perhaps one day people will pore over 'Paysen Classics' and talk about you in hushed tones. You have numerous distinct styles - the gorgeous, polished, rhyming stanzas, the intriguing poetic narratives, the free verse poems, and so on, all dealing with the 5 main themes of art, music, love, nature and spirituality. I thought the quotes that you provided at the end were equally compelling. Thanks for sharing.

Kind Regards,

Chris

Growing Up, Do We Ever?

Chris,

My Mother read every poem I composed. She knew my heart ... inside and out ... and I knew hers. I am not sure if this is typical, but I am sure that is was of God.

Poetry has a way of removing the wrinkles, the imperfections, and the airs of our humanity. I am very grateful for the time you vest in my art. It is so helpful to have a friend that knows what you long for.

I believe my dog, Ozzy, and my cat, Zack, know my heart ... but ... then again ... they are angels.

I write and I write ... because I want to ... because I need to ... and because it nourishes me ... and hopefully others. Truthfully, my family does not read me. I lost my audience when I lost my Mom and my Aunt Barbara.

Jane Seymour's latest Open Heart Family book is right ... family is not just biology ... it is those people that help us grow.

I love you for always taking the time to help me grow and sow new heartfelt images, and feelings.

I connect with the artists because they had their challenges and they had their dreams. I believe God intended for me to be a creative mind. Hopefully, I am still teaching in my own way.

Van Gogh ... not so different from you and me ... he searched for light.

Love,

Kathy

Dallas, Texas

Chris ... please ... always correct my errors. I really appreciate this from such an educated friend and writer.

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