|VINCENT VAN GOGH:|
CORNFIELD WITH LARK, 1887
Happy Day After Thanksgiving, dear folks. I personally ended up partaking of not one but two feasts--thank you Julia and Aaron; thank you Maudie!--culminating in a plate of pumpkin cheesecake, butterscotch pie, apple bread pudding and a mountain of whipped cream, then came home, collapsed on the sofa, and watched part of The Days of Wine and Roses.
Still, I'm up with the dawn, as usual, me and the birds, pondering...
"We take a train to go to Tarascon or Rouen and we take death to go to a star. What is certainly true about this argument is that as long as we're alive we can't visit a star any more than when we are dead we can take a train. Anyway, I don't see why cholera, the stone, phthisis and cancer should not be heavenly modes of locomotion like ships, buses and trains here below, while if we die peacefully of old age we make the journey on foot."
--Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother Theo
"[A] person who is 'ravished' has lost the calm security of self-possession, if only for a moment; he is, as we say, 'moved' by something else; he is passive. Plato repeatedly finds new ways to describe this state, in which one is deprived of self-possession and shaken out of one’s adjustment to the world. He speaks of wanting to fly up and being unable to; of being beside oneself and not knowing what is wrong; of ferment, unrest, helplessness…Lovers—we may read this in Aristophanes’ speech in the Symposium—do not know what they really want of one another; in fact it is evident that their two souls crave something else (something other than the pleasure of lovers’ intercourse); but the world cannot express what this other thing is, 'of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.'”
--Josef Pieper, Enthusiasm and Divine Madness
--from the diary of composer Jean Sibelius, after seeing sixteen swans flying in formation over Ainola, his Finnish home