Amsterdam: A Simple Reason To Gogh

For all intents and purposes, he was a flop. His life was one big failure after another: he failed in sales. Failed as a preacher, and failed to sell a single piece of his own artwork in his lifetime.  A social misfit, he had few friends, and quarrelled bitterly with those he had. he was subject to fits of depression, despair and rage, and rightly so. Couldn't they see his genius, share his vision, comprehend what he was trying to say? 

Perhaps not. Like many other visionaries, he was ahead of his time. An e-mail intellect in a snail-mail world. He saw things others missed: color, light, form, composition, value, hue, temperature. He screamed at the top of his lungs, becoming increasingly manic in his work, more excited, more primal, more simplistic in his artistic statement. He despaired that he was yelling into a void that returned nothing but the echoes of his own cries. 

As it often does, despair finally triumphed. He surrendered, body and soul. He left this world and traveled onward into the void. But, he left behind a legacy, a fire so bright that is has awed contemporary viewers and critics alike. Now we understand, as Don Maclean so brilliantly put it in his song Starry, Starry Night:

"Now I think I know, what you tried to say to me, and how you suffered for your sanity, and how you tried to set them free..."

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