Monday, September 25, 2017

DOG'S DAY

Sometimes, walking past a shop, a dog, any dog, large or small, cute or ugly, sitting there humbly, patiently, loyally, insignificantly waiting for its human partner to come out, moves me almost to tears. I want to tell the dog that I love it and I want to bless it.

Not that I'm especially a dog lover, or even a cat lover - apart from Pushkin, the visiting cat whose slave I am. I do appreciate all animals but when I come across that look which a dog has on its doggy face when it's waiting for its master or mistress to come back from a temporary absence...that look of absolute concentration and hopeful, pleading, optimistic but fearful waitiing....an arrow hits a bull's eye in my heart. Call it sentimentality or anthropomorphism or whatever you like but it's real.

At that moment the dog, it seems to me, is exactly like we humans...some of us...are when in our heads, in certain circumstances, we silently pray: please God just make this (whatever it is) happen and I will be yours forever. Or thoughts to that effect. The dog's expression is like a prayer. A prayer for salvation but with no certainty that it will be granted.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thursday, September 07, 2017

MYSTERY OF DISCIPLINE

Funny thing about discipline. If I'm given a task, an assignment, a job or a request, whether professionally or personally, I immediately go into soldier mode. I don't exactly salute but almost. All my dutiful and resourceful neurons start firing and a timekeeper starts keeping time and if there's a deadline I will meet it, you can be sure of that.

But for that machinery to start working, the task or request has to come from outside myself. If it's only me myself and nobody else telling me to do something, even something I really really want to do, you can bet your life I will procrastinate and procrastinate until procrastination becomes my middle name. It's my Achilles heel, my nemesis and my bĂȘte noire. Fortunately, tasks and requests do come along to save me whenever procrastinitis has bound and gagged me. For me, discipline is freedom.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

VINCENT VAN GOGH REVEALS THE TRUTH


VAN GOGH APPEARS ON FACEBOOK

That ear business, I want to clear it up once and for all. They tell me you can put a notice on this book face and then many people see it and it’s like a disease, everybody in the world gets it immediately. So I’m going to tell the real story about my ear and then I’m off.

That bastard Gauguin started it. I say bastard but I loved the man, I worshipped him before I had the stupid idea to invite him to Arles. Stupid stupid, yes, it was stupid. But it was such a beautiful idea. We would be brothers in art, work side by side, paint and talk and eat and drink together and then the other painters would come and we’d sell our work and support each other. We wouldn’t be lonely anymore and it would be paradise.

But Gauguin, what did he do? He laughed at me. He laughed, stomping around my room waving a brush. Ha ha ha, paradise? It would be hell, he said. Paint with you, live with you? I’d rather die! You’re crazy and you’re a bore and your paintings are a mess. Look at those worms of paint crawling around your canvases, wiggly wiggly, all your crazy feelings crawling around, no dignity, no design, no serenity. Paradise? Ha ha ha! Nobody will come here, they all think you’re boring and crazy.

So I let him have it. I took a tube of chrome yellow, squeezed it into my hands then smeared it all over his face and his hair. He got hold of me, pulled my head back, grabbed a knife off the table and slashed my ear. It all happened so fast, I must have passed out. When I came to Gauguin was gone and I was bleeding all over the place. The pain in my head was bad but not as bad as the pain of Gauguin’s words. I couldn’t stand it. I had to see another human being. So I wrapped up the bloody piece of my ear that was lying on the table and took it to Rachel at the bordello. I gave it to her, she was always nice to me.

 I never told anyone that Gauguin had done it.

That’s it. You won’t see me again.
Vincent