Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I recently added a painting to the top of my blog here not too long ago. Not sure exactly why I did it. I do remember first seeing the painting in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh museum. It caught my attention mainly because of its location on the tour.

It was the last painting in the building, and consequentally the last painting Van Gogh ever did. The title of the work is "Crows in the Wheatfields." It is a very stark image that conveys perhaps the knowledge that death was upon its artist.

You see that the term "stormcrow" is used to associate with a harbinger of doom, a bad omen, or ill fortune. In reality when in agricultural areas like a wheatfield when storms are moving in, the crows fly in the direction that the storm is traveling. So the people that lived there will always see the flock of crows descend upon them, and shortly after a storm would follow in the crows wake. Hence the term "stormcrow."

Van Gogh painted this work because he knew that his end was a upon him. His storm was coming. The black and blue sky with the crows in flight are a sharp contrast to the golden wheat field. The wheat representing life and growth, and the crows symbolizing death and decay. As crows are known for eating carrion, the flesh of the dead.

The painting has always struck a strong cord with me because of its true meaning. That death is indeed descending upon us. We should always bear this in mind. Only when you accept the fact that you will become nothing is it that you can beging to do anything. How can one stop a storm? How can one stop death. It is enevitible and constant.

So what does a person do? Okay, great, Im going to die, now what? Well that is up to you. Anything is possible. A deal of caution is indeed always nessecary, but life is there to be lived. You are going to die. But will you live? How many men have died with that eternal question weighing upon their souls...

"What if?"

When I return to the earth from wince I came, I want no regrets or "what ifs" to think about. I want memories. Memories of friends and adventures. Memories of loves and loves lost. These are the thoughts that will ease you into your next life. Thoughts of good things and good times.

Its funny. When someone almost dies, they view the world in a new light. The wine tastes sweeter, the sunrise is more hypnotic, and the music moves us in ways we had not imagined possible.

Why wait till you get hit by a car and brought back from the brink of the lighted tunnel by a overweight EMS paramedic to learn this lesson?

Taste the wine, love and be loved, dance when the music plays. For there are stormcrows in the horizon, and the storm is coming...this is an absoloute.


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