I was a little worried this week when I invited my friends, Mary and Leanne, to see the art film Loving Vincent (Van Gogh). I read the reviews including the one that said, "a lunatic effort in adoring
Vincent Van Gogh Self Portrait
Van Gogh." That had me more worried. My friends insisted they were "game" even if the movie turned out to be a stinker. Well, we were in for an incredible surprise, the creative genius behind the film left us breathless. Filmmakers Dorothy Kobiela and Hugh Welchman took seven years and 125 artists painting in the style of Van Gogh to create the world's first fully painted animated film. A masterpiece in my way of thinking. As the closing credits rolled and the words to the musical theme repeated, "I hope you understand what is in my heart through my work," I dabbed at my eyes. The experience moved me profoundly, on many levels. The dominant take-away for me, was how important it is that we choose our life path and not live on auto-pilot. I have long seen that our everyday behaviors are in many ways, brush strokes on the canvas of our lives. In these posts over the years, I am often encouraging you to live in your own best interests, to live joyfully, to live purposefully.
Anyway, when I arrived home after a two hour bumper-to-bumper five-mile drive made impossible by the many fires closing the
accesses to the inland cities, my husband was waiting for me. He was eager to share something new he had discovered. It was an Alan Watt YouTube video clip which reinforced what the film had
said to me - that life is not about getting somewhere. It is about being in the present as we live it. Van Gogh painted ferociously for just eight years, but I know, as an artist myself, that
he was in the moment. If he had a destination, it was to communicate what was in his heart. His paintings are now valued at something like $82 million dollars but that was not his goal, he
was in the present, painting what was in his soul.
Mary, Donna & Leanne discuss
Alan Watt's (a writer-philosopher from the 1960'-70's) message is that somehow in our go-get-'em culture, many folks have the notion that we are on a journey, struggling to get to some final destination . Retirement? I once read that a huge percent of retired American males watch in excess of 40 hours per week of television! Watt explains that the universe, for example, is not going anywhere, it just is. He argues that our lives are not about getting somewhere, but about the actual act of living which he compares to a dance or a
Youtube Video with Alan Watt
concert. We do not go to the concert to get to the end. If that were the case, we would buy our ticket and the orchestra would play the last booming chord and we would leave. The goal of the music is the music. He says a dance is about the dance, not about getting to the edge of the dance floor. He believes we are missing the point when we live every day like we are going somewhere. Where are we going? Are we are aiming for the place called "success?" Where exactly is that? Maybe Watt is correct to see life as something musical, that we are supposed to sing or dance while the music is being played. Perhaps life itself is the music. Surely Vincent Van Gogh was at his best with the paint brush in hand painting for life. Certainly, we need a plan, goals, but it is important to cherish the experiences that come with reaching them; so that when one is completed we are excited to start again with something new.
I'd love to hear what you think of this idea!