Sunday Roast: Turbulence & Van Gogh

Wrap your head around this one!

Although it makes a weird sort of sense, to me anyway, that a mind in the midst of extreme suffering might perceive things in a different way than a calmer mind.  It is rather simplistic, but thinking about it that way feels good.

Let’s not neglect the gobbledygook math thing…on second thought, let’s do.

And now, a beautiful quote from one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, Vincent and the Doctor.

The Doctor:  Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?

Curator:  Well… um… big question, but, to me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.

Can anyone doubt that Vincent van Gogh is my favorite artist?

This is our daily open thread — Get on with it.

The Watering Hole: July 27 — Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night Over the Rhone, Arles, September 1888

On this date in 1890, 122 years ago, the greatest painter who ever lived, in my humble opinion, shot himself in the chest.  He died two days later of infection.  There is some speculation that van Gogh did not shoot himself, that he was accidentally shot by a third party, or accidentally shot himself.  One thing is for sure, we’ll never really know.

Over the years, there has been a lot of speculation about what ailed van Gogh:

Diagnoses include schizophreniabipolar disordersyphilis, poisoning from swallowed paints, temporal lobe epilepsy and acute intermittent porphyria. Any of these could have been the culprit and been aggravated by malnutrition, overwork, insomnia and consumption of alcohol, especially absinthe.

Whatever it was, van Gogh’s was a tortured soul.  I wonder if he would have been a better painter with a healthy mind?   Maybe, maybe not.  It’s my thought that our experiences — social, physical, and psychological — bring us to any given point in our lives, and everything we do is colored by those experiences.

For van Gogh, his experiences and talent led him to an amazingly productive period in his life, even as his mind was slipping away.  It seems he did the only thing he could do — paint beautiful pictures.

I used to think that our life experiences always brought us to where we needed to be, and that it was usually a good thing.  I no longer think it works that way for everyone, and I think Vincent van Gogh might agree.

This is our daily open thread — What are we drinking tonight?  🙂