By Eric Wayne January 27, 2021 – from his website
What quackery is this?! Is your pronoun going to be “that”, or is “that” already taken? No woo-woo here, folks. I’m not saying I don’t have a shape, color, or gender, or that those things don’t have importance, I merely point out what should be so obvious that everyone takes it for granted. It is our minds that make humans exceptional among all living organisms, and it’s what we do with them after we are born that truly matters. However, in the 21st century, we’ve woken to discover we are merely the body, and our core identity was defined before we were born. Curiously, according to this belief, we find ourselves with little or no agency to self-determine who we are. On the contrary, I believe that at our core, we are the self-determining agency itself, and that is both our freedom and our burden. The soul is an excellent metaphor for the invisible thread of sentience that maintains continuity throughout our lives (even as most the cells of our bodies are completely replaced) and witnesses our every action…
There’s a funny thing about Vincent Van Gogh that I think people miss. We think he was crazy not just because of the ear incident, but for staking his life on the obsessive pursuit of paintings that were ridiculed as clumsy and ugly. The problem here is that he knew what he was looking at, and what we would all come to discover. The village idiot, out getting heat stroke in the wheat-fields, hopelessly slathering paint on canvas, was creating paintings that were so vibrant, luminous, and energetic that they would become a permanent fixture in art history. There is an element of discovery and excitement in realizing imagery nobody has seen before: the same enticement that explorers will sacrifice their lives for. When we consider that this fascination with what he could uncover with his own brushes spurred him on, and that he was aware he was creating phenomenal paintings, his sacrifices seem less crazy than simply a matter of necessity.
If he wasn’t out at night making a spectacle of himself — painting with burning candles mounted on his hat so that he could see — the Starry Night would never have materialized. Here’s my favorite of his nighttime paintings:
Was it madness to make this painting, or would it have been madness not to? Would it have been sane for him to have remained as an assistant in an art gallery where he worked as a young adult, and to have maintained a comfortable existence, with his evenings free to indulge in whatever entertainments or distractions?
How did he know his paintings were great? How was he so sure it was all worth it? As plainly evident as it is to his true admirers today, it was to him, but coupled with the thrill of the paintings unfurling before his eyes at the tip of his fingers. To capture the night sky reflected in water, while painting outside, and to make the dark colors brilliant, and then to carry it home and admire it indoors by lamplight, must have been glorious.
My cmnt: I have linked to this blog and included the snippet above to encourage you to check it out. He is an honest and thoughtful thinker and art critic. Here is another link to his work on my site to further entice you to look over his site.