17.4.13

on starry night

what i have been trying to say for the past six months about starry night, but have been absolutely inarticulate about is this: when i first saw it, i cried. 

i spent a whole fifteen minutes watching it, not staring at it, not looking at it, just watching it. i kept going from one painting to the next, laughing a little everytime i came across the painting of the church (in which the doctor vanquished the monster) smiling everytime i came to the painting of the idiots taking a nap on the hay and tearing up everytime i came to starry night.

i stood in front of it for as long as i could. it was a hell of a task, i wanted to do the same thing with the bedroom, the same thing with his self portraits, the same thing with the painting of auvers.

but it was starry night that moved me, starry night that made me cry, starry night that made me fall in love with paris. it's a vibrant night sky, not dark, not quiet, but bright and rich with blues. the stars are dancing, in his starry night. there are lights on the shore, lights that are gassy, mellowed and dark, lights that are reflected in the movement of the water, lights that are dancing with the stars in the sky and flirting with the winds in the water.
 
it wasn't the stars in the sky, it wasn't the lights on the ground, or their reflection in their water that did it for me. it wasn't even the couple in the corner. standing there by the boats. claiming their night. looking at me. having their night under their starry skies. making it their own. making it mine.

it was the kind of night that i am familiar with. alive, musical, buzzing. it is the kind of night i live in, the kind of night i live for.

so when i first saw it, i cried. not only with the heavy sadness or the serenity of this painting. not only with the joy of my first van gogh painting, the joy of being in paris in the rain, but with the joy of the night.

i may not have found the words for it just yet, but i want to be that couple with their backs to this night. i want to be in a starry night like his.

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