It was a cool 69° F this morning and I headed out in my hoodie with a scarf around my neck. This being Cuenca, EC I sported my sun hat and sun glasses as well! Canvas bag on my shoulder, thermos in hand I was on my way to my writing place. Six mornings out of seven finds me sitting in a friend’s courtyard, pen and paper on lap, scribbling away at my most recent work-in-progress.
As I walked briskly up the incline from my house, my thoughts turned to Vincent (van Gogh of course – I mean what other Vincent is there?). I thought of him, setting out early in the morning, paints and easel tucked under his arm, walking with purpose, as I do, towards his spot. I then of course chuckled at myself. Seriously, Vincent definitely did not have an iPad tucked into a canvas bag bought at Chapters. Nor did he have a thermos to keep his coffee or tea hot. Even worse, he often forgot to wear a hat and suffered sunstroke a few times during his life.
And this is what happens when life presents you with a moment of magic and you quickly move into your head.
Let’s try this again!
On my way to Barbara’s house for my my writing time, this morning, I was thinking of Vincent van Gogh. Imagining the mornings he headed out, paints and easel tucked under his arm. I wondered, if like me, he stood before a blank canvas waiting for what would pour forth.
Did he sense how holy is the work of the artist? How sacred is our time in the presence of the Divine? As the sun beat down upon his head, lost in creation – God’s and his – did he enter that magical place of “no time”.
Without fame and fortune, often at odds with his world and the people in it, Vincent showed up and allowed himself to be consumed by the call of who he was. He spent years practicing, learning to draw and paint people. Yet he is best known for his landscapes, his flowers and night skies. Perhaps. The great body of work he left behind speaks, to me, of a life lived in homage to art. Vincent painted when he couldn’t and painted when the urge was huge within him. “You can’t do this” the voice within cried at times. “I AM doing this” was ever his response.
A lonely man, with few friends, with a brother who stood by him no matter what. With self doubts and with an eye for color that blesses us to this day.
I sit at his side while he paints, scribbling my own creations on blank paper. Some days with doubts and fears at hand. Showing up, allowing the Divine to pour forth upon the page. I cannot, I will not ever, ask to be other than who I am.