Wednesday, June 3, 2009
My apologies for the lack of posts the past few days. When I first decided to do a personal blog my goal was at least one post - however trivial, perfunctory or shallow - per day.
So much for goals...
When you're married to a school teacher, have two kids and work from home, choosing the end of the school year to start a writing project probably isn't the best timing for said project.
So for the past week I've been mediating sibling conflicts, watering the dirt I charitably call a "yard", wishing (to paraphrase a Buffet line) I was fishing and basically sitting around the house on my arse doing nothing. It's a typical early summer pattern for me and soon enough I'll find a dark corner, figure out my summer writing routine and the frequency of my posts will increase.
So until then I'll leave you with an image I can wholly commiserate with right now, the version of van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" which hangs in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
It's not the most perfectly centered photograph, but I had to snap it while simultaneously using my mixed martial arts skills to fend off a horde of unsmiling, rather severe-looking German tourists who were determined to get in front of me.
OK, so I'm lying about that last part. I don't know mixed martial arts from mixed fruit and it was actually a horde of camera-toting Japanese tourists dressed like the Ramones, but that's my excuse for the bad pic.
Now everyone claims van Gogh meant to portray a sense of melancholy with this painting, but I'm not buying it. My personal theory is the subject of the portrait, Dr. Paul Gachet(who treated van Gogh at the end of his life) probably had children, perhaps brothers age three and eight who spent every waking hour devising ways to beat, taunt and torture each other while their poor suffering father tried in vain to write, err, I mean, treat patients.
So when Gachet finally got around to dealing with van Gogh he wasn't melancholy, as van Gogh suspected, he was simply worn out and exhausted.
But either way, melancholy or exhaustion, Gachet's presence was apparently one helluva downer because after a mere ten weeks of his treatment van Gogh decided he'd rather self-medicate with a revolver shot to the chest than continue on with Dr. Happyface.
Incidentally, the other version of this painting, which is in private hands, sold for $82 million back in 1990. That will buy you a whole lotta spinnerbaits....
Posted by Chad Love at 9:54 PM