Tie me up

I cry at music. I cry at books. I cry at movies. TV shows. Heck, TV commercials. But I’ve never cried at visual art. Until now. Van Gogh’s “Cypresses” moved me to tears. Something about the almost unbearable vibration of them got to me, and knowing that a year later he would kill himself, and feeling empathy with that — because how could one perceive that much energy in everything one saw and be able to withstand it? If I had not known that he was going to kill himself, would I have been as moved? I don’t know. But I do know that after viewing that exhibit, I audibly exhaled, as if I’d been holding my breath the whole time. I felt like I had been inside an incredibly intense experience. The world somehow had changed for me, at least while I was looking through his eyes. I both wish I were so wholly engaged with seeing the world, captured by it, as Van Gogh seemed to be, and relieved that I can turn away from it, flick on the TV, and cry at some stupid commercial. Change the channel. Art is not a way out, but a binding to the world. Sometimes with silk, sometimes barbed wire.

gogh.cypresses

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