Thursday, June 19, 2014

vAn GOGh-ed

Van Gogh came after the the lingering aftertaste of my first Dutch pancake breakfast had faded and the uncertainty of feeling the tram service had settled. 

[Did he also have tiramisu melting over rivulets of thick syrup that folded like an orgasm with each morsel of a crusty pancake, and lost his cap too as he transferred seats in the tram of his day?]

And he came bigger than the overblown versions of the sunflowers he painted in Arles, and louder than the colors of the bedroom of 1888.

Six years ago in San Francisco, I stood face to face with the swirling shades of blue of a starry night that I thought was a painter's interpretation of how Lucy in the skies with diamonds would look, awed at the name behind the painting, mesmerized why what to me would be more of an amateur's work can draw so much emotion, transfixed by the failure of the mind to explain that strange sudden burst of a funny feeling, but somehow understanding why James Taylor wrote a song about him and the painting.

But the crows in the wheat field in Amsterdam was more unforgiving as I stood helpless before it, inebriated by my inadequacy to confront the birds as they came after me, intoxicated by the random strokes of a wheat field and a road whose seeming crudeness connected the simplicity of the subjects in the frame to produce a complex masterpiece that speaks more to the heart than to the mind.

And that strange funny feeling again, but more intense, and the euphoria of understanding not as I cried... 

It was only late morning but I was tired.

The Rijksmuseum and its trove of Dutch classics was supposed to be next but I was suddenly not too excited with Rembrandt.

Besides, I was sure though that Rembrandt will be more of a curiosity and the bragging rights that will come with it.

So I passed.

I thought the Amsterdam Museum looked more like a cafe than what it claims to be. 

So I passed too, hopping from one tram to another, grabbing a coke and Dutch fries for lunch, in a discreet hunt for the WC sign, until the spires of the Western Church announced that I was about to arrive at the Anne Frank House.

But Van Gogh is too much for one day and I might not be able to survive another sad story.

I took note of the long queue and made it my alibi to call it a day. 

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