DAY 4: Third Day in Amsterdam
Van Gogh. Standing feet away from the man’s original work. To genuinely experience it. In person. Just you and the work. It helped me feel less disconnected from the world.
Three floors worth of Van Gogh’s work, including entire rooms of artists that inspired him. The Vincent Van Gogh museum is exhausting. There’s so much gorgeous, raw emotion splayed out on canvas to absorb. There was a quote from another artist alongside one of the many self-portraits that Van Gogh painted in an effort to practice new techniques; The quote commented on the power of capturing a person organically on canvas. How special an act it was extracting deep from within the painter’s soul to capture the essence of another human being. The quote argued that machines could not accomplish this level of intimacy and connectedness, and after viewing countless portraits today at the Van Gogh museum, I couldn’t agree more.
I love photography but there’s something deeply, deeply intimate about using your hands and imagination to dig within yourself and paint another human being, to truly capture who they are. How they make you feel when they look at you. To capture what you think of him or her while trying your best to replicate the subject’s likeness to an exact detail. The museum was inspiring, in that, I admired Van Gogh’s constant willingness to improve his craft by trying new and different techniques to better his work. I often found myself gazing into the eyes of Van Gogh in his self-portraits, imagining him saying, “Why aren’t you working?”
After the museum, I sprawled out on the grass in the middle of the large park out back. Took it all in… Even the bees here look overly happy. They’re huge, by the way. Primarily black with bits of yellow. They’re beautiful actually.
This place is truly otherworldly. I can already imagine missing everything about it. Again the tension I found so prevalent back home in America is absent. It just isn’t here. Perhaps that’s why Amsterdam brought Vegas to mind. Both Vegas and Amsterdam, though very different in countless ways, feel like completely different planets. World’s that abide by their own rules. It’s impossible not to feel positive here.
I managed to elbow a French tourist during the Van Gogh exhibit while securing my camera bag. I was extremely apologetic. He responded with a genuinely big smile and a relaxed demeanor: “It’s okay!” He seemed more put off by how concerned I was than the elbowing itself. Like it was worse to see me in distress than be physically harmed.
I could easily stay here forever but at the same time, I don’t belong here. It’s a place that I know I’d love to live in… But I’m addicted to wandering. Drifting from place to place. If this trip has forced me to do anything, it’s to appreciate the present moment and not worry about the future. It’s euphoric.Having said that, I'm booking next destination tonight.