Everybody knows about the famous ear incident. (Actually it was just the ear lobe.) Art lovers know about Vincent's passion for life and aesthetics, and his talent. But fewer people know that he was also a highly deliberate and educated man, who was a philosopher and expressed his philosophy with unusual clarity and color. His letters are very, very powerful.
What I find most inspiring about van Gogh, though, are two things: the positiveness of his art, and his style of living.
Few modern people have had lives with more heartbreak and trouble than Vincent van Gogh. But do you see that in his art? Rarely. What you see is Love and Life. Look at the famous Sunflowers, for instance, arguably one of the best paintings ever created. This is a picture of Life and Joy. It positively shines with warmth and love.
Vincent did not use his art as therapy for himself, to try to exorcise his inner torment. Vincent created his art for the universe and for mankind.
Vincent has as many doubts and fears as anybody, but that did not stop him from living life as if it was a cavalry attack: all out charge, or nothing. When he decided to do something, he did it 110 percent. 150 percent. 200 percent. He gave his all, and then some, and then some more.
Sure, he died young, at 37, but for one thing he had lived and produced a hundred normal lifetimes worth in that time. And for another thing, I really don't think that his death was a result of his intense living. Au contraire, as the Dutch say, it was a result of poverty. He used all his money on paint and canvasses, and hardly ate. He deadened his hunger with tobacco, coffee, and alcohol. That would kill anybody in the end. I think that today, with our vastly improved economy and conditions, one might easily live a enthusiastically productive life, and still live to be a hundred.
I think that is worth going for.
Letter of the week, from Rob
I have always been somewhat of a passionate man, one who loves the freedom of not wearing clothes, but unfortunately I find myself in a situation that prevents me from this experiencing this freedom fully.
Recently a letter you published brought a particularly fond memory flooding back to me. I was very young and I happened to be at summer camp for a week. This camp was run by our church so naturally the rules were quite strict. There was one evening, however that seemed to bypass all the rules.
Throughout the day, rumors were quietly being spread that the girls from the second oldest girls cabin were going to put on a dancing cabaret from the back room. All the boys who dared where invited to gather at the back window to watch. So we went. For a few minutes three of the girls were dressed in makeshift costumes dancing and singing with glee to the delight of the dozen of us peering through the window. It couldn't be a long show because soon the counselors would return from their nightly staff meeting. After the last number was performed, we all began to sneak back to our cabins.
As I was leaving, I heard someone whispering my name from the window. I turned back and a beautiful teenage girl, whom I happened to have a cruch on waved me back. "I have something special for you... wait here," she whispered.
A couple of seconds later, the curtains were pulled back and there she was...completely nude dancing like a ballerina. I couldn't believe my eyes! It was as if time had come to a stand still as I drew closer to the window and watched her performance intently. Everything about her was as perfect as I had imagined. Beautiful, round breasts bouncing ever so slightly to the rhythm of her dance, combined with her perfectly tanned body gliding around the rustic cabin. Then, as quickly as she began, the curtains were closed and it was over.
I raced back to my cabin, hoping desperately that I would not be caught. That night, safe and sound in my own cabin my mind replayed that display of female perfection over and over. Never had I shared this incident with anybody, for fear of some sort of punishment for both me and that beautiful dancer. Before long, the memory had slipped into the recesses of my mind. Until your site found its way into my life.
Every time I gaze upon the beauties on your pages, my mind is transported back to that cabin long ago, where the forbidden dance was performed for me, thus opening the locked fantasies of my mind. Thank you DOMAI!
Fine art nudes © Laurie Jeffery, Sergey Babenko, and Oleg Ponochovny