Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life Force

Did you know that every year the Van Gogh Museum has 1.5 million visitors, who come to Amsterdam from all over the world? That is an average of over 4,000 visitors a day! 

On our third morning in Amsterdam, we walked from our little apartment, down pretty streets lined with tall, gabled houses; over flower lined bridges that spanned canals; all the while dodging the bikes which seemed to approach precariously from every direction. We arrived at the museum early, to find a line already well formed, of people waiting for the museum to open.  We joined and waited with them, with a sense of approaching something sacred. Well, that's my version. Paul waited impatiently because he hates to wait for anything.

As soon as we entered the doors, Paul announced wearily  that he was going to the cafe, mumbling with a pained expression, about not being able to take another museum! We have mostly figured out how to "be" quite happily, in spite of, and sometimes because of, our different tastes. So I left Mr. B. to his coffee, and prepared to enter a state of ecstasy in contemplating the work of Mr. VG. The girls went on at their own faster pace, while I lingered, to my heart's content, staring and admiring, and being overtaken with emotion as I followed the progression of Van Gogh's work as laid out chronologically in the museum, along with his copious letters and personal history. His tragic life's end came just as he seemed to be touching the finger of God himself with his art, which is so full of vibrancy and life force.
"A Vincent Van Gogh" by Vincent van Gogh - www.galeriacanvas.pl. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -
It must have been an hour later that I came across Paul, not in the cafe. He was carrying a golden shopping bag with Van Gogh Sunflowers on it. Eyes alive and energized, he told me about an amazing painting he'd seen, describing the colours. 

Today I was with Tippy and I asked her what she enjoyed most on our trip. "Oh, the people," she said, "meeting them all (her uncle Bob and cousins) and putting faces to names; but the museums were pretty cool too."  I mentioned her grandfather at the Van Gogh Museum and she said, "Yes, he was pretty excited about the art there. He told me he didn't like abstract art but said this was amazing, and that I should do this." 

I almost forgot the golden shopping bag. "I bought this for  you," Paul said, pulling a book called, "Master-pieces," from within.

Epiphany? Conversion? Baptism of fire? I don't know what you 'd call it, but seeing it was so much fun.

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