Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wheat Field with Cypress Trees

I found a Van Gogh poster in front of The Montauk yesterday and laid claim to it, which meant having to climb over the old iron fence while choreographed by the building's super. The poster was one of those things I felt I saw before actually seeing it, maybe because Van Gogh quotes kept turning up all day. For instance, I must have read somewhere that for the artist there were 8 kinds of white, but I felt like I dreamed it.

Before now I never considered that Van Gogh painted sound, silent sound, his landscapes ring like gong hits. Perhaps when he cut off his ear the silent sound had gotten too loud, or perhaps he meant to loan his ear to someone who badly needed to hear the ecstatic tremoring of all things.

Because of an innocent oversight on my part my son was upset while we walked home from school, carrying the Wheat Field with Cypress Trees. Somehow the idea of silent sound inflating all things managed to keep my internal organs, and perhaps my brain, from being overly flattened by resentment and hopelessness, as is often the case, and his sorrow and anger, once dispersed, was totally and completely gone and replaced by an unusual calm and sweetness. Perhaps we'll hang the Wheat Field in his room, and hang Van Gogh's eye on my ear.

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