Good morning, everyone! This week at Videndae we are busy working on a re-vamp which requires a brief pause in our daily postings. We’ll pick back up in full force next week, but until then I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite poems to consider. I discovered this beauty nearly 15 years ago. It was given to me by my godmother Robin when I was just 17 visiting my host family & friends in the French alps over Christmas break. I remember sitting down in front of a boxy computer perched up in a wooden loft, watching the snow fall out the window while the internet puttered along. A moment later I discovered this letter in my inbox and was instantly filled with wonderment and felt a deep connection to the people I loved, no matter how far away they were. Poetry is so important. Let’s never miss the opportunity to pause and appreciate what it conjures for us.
From Mornings Like This: Found Poems by Annie Dillard
Vincent van Gogh, letters, 1873-1890, edited I. Stone, translated Johanna van Gogh
At the end of the road is a small cottage,
And over all the blue sky.
I am trying to get at something utterly heart-broken.
The flying birds, the smoking chimneys,
And that figure loitering below in the yard–
If we do not learn from this, then from what shall we learn?
The miners go home in the white snow at twilight
These people are quite black. Their houses are small.
The time for making dark studies is short.
A patch of brown heath through which a white
Path leads, and sky just delicately tinged,
Yet somewhat passionately brushed.
We who try our best to live, why do we not live more?
The branches of poplars and willows rigid like wire.
It may be true that there is no God here,
But there must be one not far off.
A studio with a cradle, a baby’s high chair.
Those colors which have no name
Are the real foundation of everything.
What I want is more beautiful huts far away on the heath.
If we are tired, isn’t it then because
We have already walked a long way?
The cart with the white horse brings
a wounded man home from the mines.
Bistre and bitumen, well applied,
Make the colouring ripe and mellow and generous.
A ploughed field with clods of violet earth;
Over all a yellow sky with a yellow sun.
So there is every moment something that moves one intensely.
A bluish-grey line of trees with a few roofs.
I simply could not restrain myself or keep
My hands off it or allow myself to rest.
A mother with her child, in the shadow
Of a large tree against the dune.
To say how many green-greys there are is impossible.
I love so much, so very much, the effect
Of yellow leaves against green trunks.
This is not a thing that I have sought,
But has come across my path and I have seized it.