Friday, November 2, 2012

Starry Starry Night

I was listening to music today - really listening and not just having it in the background. When you really start listening I find that so many have sadness in the lyrics. One that really got me thinking was Don Macleans "Starry Starry Night" (, a song about the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

It is speculated that Van Gogh had bipolar disorder, and when I look at some of his artwork it makes sense to me. Some of his paintings are so bright and vibrant. Just look at the stars in his starry night - they aren't just the pin pricks of light in the sky that a normal person sees, instead they are blazing spirals of brilliance as might be seen by a manic mind. I've seen the stars and moon look this way.

Yet other paintings are bleak and grey as if seen through the grey shroud of depression. I've seen the world looking like this.

This painting seems to represent the time when depression is still there, but is lifting. The ravens of madness are flying away. He captures the way the brightness of normal life seems to push away the darkness. I feel a connection to this art unlike any other art I have seen. It evokes emotions that are sometimes better left tucked away, but also describes my experience better than words.

I wish I could paint or write poetry as those mediums seem most able to express the polars of experience.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
Vincent Van Gogh