Chai Coaching logo

Vincent Van Gogh - more than a painter

"If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle."
- Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote by the late Dutch post-Impressionist master painter. Years ago when I was studying Western Art History in College, I only knew him for "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers" amongst other paintings equally notable for their boldness and intriguing beauty.

Recently, I came across this quote and fell in love immediately. Our stages in life surely impact the way we perceive similar situations and information. Being a new mother of a 9 month old baby girl, I fully resonate with his words. The fact that this deep insight comes from van Gogh (who unfortunately is often remembered for his mental illness, having cut off his left ear and final speculated suicide), makes it even more poignant.

I was intrigued and had to find out more about Vincent Van Gogh - what does Wikipedia have to say, sing and pine? Which are his top selling art prints and posters of his 2,100 artwork? What other wonderful quotes did he share during his 37 years of life?

This short inquiry reminded me that no human is one dimensional with certain set roles. We are all multi-faceted, wear different hats, mean something else to different people and overall, have much to offer the world. Oftentimes, how we are remembered when we leave this earth isn't up to us. But how we remember and honour ourselves while we're still pulsating with life is.

In the more hauntingly beautiful words of Vincent Van Gogh

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange."

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."

"Conscience is a man's compass."

"For my own part, I declare I know nothing whatever about it. But to look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. One thing undoubtedly true in this reasoning is this: that while we are alive we cannot get to a star, any more than when we are dead we can take the train."

If the quote above was one of Van Gogh's dream, what's yours?

It is not a shame to fall but to remain fallen.

- Tamil Proverb