I am back to reading about Vincent Van Gogh and curiously moving ahead to find out if at some point our paths diverge. Because so far, much of Vincent’s life feels similar to my own, and I am wondering if we are both going to go crazy. I have made no secret of the fact that I have felt profoundly lonely during my life, and happily for me, so did Vincent, at least to the age of twenty-four, as far as I’ve have read. I say happily because there is some solace in thinking a great painter like Vincent Van Gogh could not locate his compatriots along the way as well. His life so far is marked by great wanderings, and like me, he embarked on seemingly futile paths repeatedly, primarily at the behest of his parents, rather than leading himself from his own heart. He tried and failed at many endeavors, but always held true to the interests that sustained him when he suffered.
For him it was the hope of rekindling happy feelings of his youth, and his sincere love of art. For me it is the constant of writing my thoughts and interpretations of my experiences. So far in the story, he has been unable to earn the pride of his family, because as I see it, he had little passion for the paths he followed, and the interests that held passion for him he barely acknowledged, setting him up for disappointment. Besides the details of his many failures, the story is filled with details of his interest in gathering reminders of great art. He amassed prints of paintings and drawings that appealed to him, and learned about artists and their methods, slowly, methodically, continuously, covering his walls with these inexpensive comforts. Somehow despite all his supposed failings at becoming a preacher, or a teacher, or a book seller, or an art seller, he did not ever stop doing what truly thrilled him, appreciating the artistic expression of others. I love the message in that even though I think I’ll be disappointed when I learn that he is considered mentally ill.
If I can appreciate the things I do, the writing I create, and other seemingly unimportant or at least unprofitable endeavors I engage in simply because I love them, maybe they will lead me to my true calling too, even if I do go crazy along the way.