Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

I am reading the Letters of Vincent van Gogh and it is tremendous. Here are just a few quotes I've gleaned from it, and I'm only on page 116:
  • Now, one of the reasons why I have no regular job, and why I have not had a regular job for years, is quite simply that my ideas differ from those of the gentlemen who hand out the jobs to individuals who think as they do.
  • I am a man of passions, capable of and given to do more or less outrageous things for which I sometimes feel a little sorry. Every so often I say or do something too hastily when it would have been better to have shown a little more patience.
  • Father once wrote to me, 'Do not forget the story of Icarus, who wanted to fly to the sun, and having reached a certain height lost his wings and fell into the sea.' You may often feel that neither [Anna] nor I are what we hope to become and that we still lag a long way behind Father and other people, that we lack sandiness and sincerity. One does not become simple and true overnight. But let us persevere, and above all have patience. He who believes, does not hasten. Still there is a difference between our desire to become Christians and that of Icarus to fly to the sun.
  • But I cannot help but thinking that the best of way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence, and you must try all the time to understand him more, better and yet more. That will lead to God, that will lead to an unshakable faith.

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