Saturday, March 18, 2006

Starry Starry Night

Today I was semi-watching a program on one of the local public broadcasting channels, with Dr. Wayne Dyer, who does a lot of work on positive thinking, awareness in living, inspiration, and that sort of thing. Near the end of the program, Dr.Dyer began to tell the story of Vincent Van Gogh. Probably most of us know at least some of the story, of a struggling artist, plagued by demons of the mind, who had never achieved success during his short lifetime as an artist and a painter. A man who ended up tragically taking his own life. One of the things Dr. Dyer relayed as he spoke about the life of Van Gogh was that he had never sold a single painting during his life, not a single one.

I never knew that.

A man who is so revered today for the genius and brilliance of his work, and he never sold a single painting, not a one.

I was left stunned by that.

Another thing that Dr. Dyer mentioned about Vincent was that the day on which he shot himself in the heart, the act which ended his life, was July 27th. July 27th, the day of my birth.

This, I never knew before, either.

At the end of the program, Dr. Dyer's daughter, Skye, then sang the song made famous by Don McLean, Starry Starry Night, named after one of Vincent's most well-known paintings.

Yet another painting for which he could find no buyer, but which we now know could never really have been purchased or bought at any price, for in all of the world there has never been the money sufficient enough to ever truly begin to pay its real worth, and there never will be.

Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
Don McLean

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do,
But I could have told you Vincent,
This world was never meant for one as
beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow
Now I think I know,
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free
They did not listen, they're not listening still,
Perhaps they never will


Blogger Blondie said...

Hmmmmmm I never knew all that stuff about Van Gogh either....interesting...

5:03 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

I wonder if Van Gogh had not killed himself, if he sold many paintings, if he had "good luck"- would we know who he was?
I didn't know anything about Van Gogh until a few years ago, and beside Starry Night, his self portrait is what I remember the most because of how long I stared at it. Just wondering, over and over- did his past consume him, or was it his future? I came to the conclusion that it was perhaps a little of both, but I'll keep my theories to myself hehe.
In any case, this is the cover of my 2 week old journal:
The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night

I had another one lined up, but it didn't feel right, so I searched around a bit, and this one felt right.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Blondie, thanks for visiting my site. It's amazing the little things that we find and learn, each day. Please stop by again.

It's hard to say, Willowtree, if we would know him as we do now, had he achieved more "success" in his life. I like to think that we would, but who can say?

I can see that self-portrait, the slight frown, the look of disturbance, as if perhaps we suddenly showed up and bothered him, maybe startled him a little. It must be hard to know what others do not, and maybe cannot, and yet try to express that.

I like that painting from your journal, "Cafe Terrace". I can almost imagine myself there, looking over the plaza on some starry night. Ah, if only it were so!

11:21 AM  

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