“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.” Vincent Van Gogh
Today, I am celebrating the 167th birthday of Vincent Van Gogh (his actual birthday is March 30th), who in his low moments, thought of himself as “somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low.” How amazed he would be at the outpouring of love that he has received throughout the world on his birthday. Social media was and still is alive with comments such as: “truly my favorite artist” “happy birthday to a beautiful soul” “Love you, Vincent” “Happy Birthday, Sweetheart”, “Miss you, Vincent”. It is as if he is present with us still.
Vincent’s life resonates with us simply because he shared his love for the world in his paintings and in his writings. We enjoy discussing his style of painting, his travels, his love for his brother, Theo and his relationships with other artists. But our hearts are drawn to his understanding of the human experience. “Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”
Happy Birthday, Vincent. Thank you for your gift of love, beauty and resilience. You have taught us, that even in the most difficult of circumstances, there is calmness, harmony and music.
“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” Vincent van Gogh