Vincent

There are so many people, especially among our comrades, who imagine that words are nothing – on the contrary, isn’t it true that saying a thing well is as interesting and as difficult as painting it?
(Vincent van Gogh)

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public van-gogh-autoportrait-chapeau-pailleopinion.
(Vincent van Gogh)

I come back dissatisfied – I put it away, and when I have rested a little, I go and look at it with a kind of fear. Then I am still dissatisfied, because I still have that splendid scene too clearly in my mind to be satisfied with what I have made of it. But I find in my work an echo of what struck me…
(Vincent van Gogh)

 Only he can be an artist who has a religion all his own – an original way of viewing infinity.
(Vincent van Gogh)

Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me.
(Vincent van Gogh)

One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.
(Vincent van Gogh)

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I’ve failed again!
(Vincent van Gogh)

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
(Vincent van Gogh)

It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.
(Vincent van Gogh)

*featured image: photograph of Vincent van Gogh

*image one: Autoportrait, 1889, Vincent van Gogh

*image two: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1886 by John Peter Russell

‘If the Furies Should Take…’

‘It is widely rumored, and also true, that I wrote my first novel in a closet. Before I get all rapturous and carried away here, I had better admit to that. The house was tiny, I was up late at night typing while another person slept, and there just wasn’t any other place for me to go but that closet. The circumstances were extreme. And if I have to — if the Furies should take my freedom or my sight — I’ll go back to writing in the dark. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper. Probably I’ve already tempted fate by announcing that I need to look upon wilderness in order to write. (I can hear those Furies sharpening their knives now, clucking, Which shall it be, dearie? Penury or cataracts?)…’

~ Barbara Kingsolver, ‘Knowing Our Place’, Small Wonder

Thoreau on the (Hu)man

“See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all day he fears, not being immortal or divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds.

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. . .

Think, also, of the ladies of the land weaving toilet cushions against the day, not to betray too green an interest in their fates! As if you could kill time without injuring eternity!”

~ Henry David Thoreau, on the (hu)man

Truest Confidant

“I never feel that I have comprehended an emotion, or fully lived even the smallest events, until I have reflected upon it in my journal; my pen is my truest confidant, holding in check the passions and disappointments that I dare not share even with my beloved.”

~ Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, 1996