Starry Nights: Musing and Shadorma Challenge

Monday Morning Musings:

“This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,”

–Vincent van Gogh to Theo, Saint-Rémy, France, 1889

“For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But the sight of the stars always makes me dream.”

–Vincent van Gogh, letter to his broth Theo, July 1888


It was midday, but we saw stars,

swirling lines

and colored bars

65,000 hand-painted frames

aiming to depict the art and life

the vision, the strife

artistry in different forms–the imagination

to take his art, recreate, use animation

caught us,

and we flowed with the waves of light

through bright days and starry nights.


Vincent loved

his brother, Theo.

Wrote letters,

long missives

every day penning his thoughts

on art, love, and life


The movie involved a bit of mystery

born not just from art, but from Vincent’s history

of writing these letters to brother Theo

and so

Postman Joseph Roulin


Sends his son to deliver one


found after Vincent’s death

Armand travels, meets the people with whom Vincent interacted


Vincent van Gogh, “Dr. Paul Gachet,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Learns what they felt, and how they reacted

to his art and eccentricities,

some charged, by his electricity,

others repelled,

the story told almost Rashomen-style

different versions of the artist and the man

and we’re left to understand him, as best we can.


An artist for a few years only,

failing at other careers,

art dealer, missionary,

he was a visionary

though his stern parents thought he was a failure,

he painted over 800 paintings in his short career

and it is clear

that he suffered for his art

and gave from his heart

his mother disposed of his work in a crate

finding out–only too late

though she thought he was dim and full of whims

others a genius thought him


We walk out into the warm November day

drink coffee


And look at the colors play

Through city streets and historic sites

And think about Vincent’s short life


A few days later

We’re immersed again in art

Using a gift from friends–

sisters of my heart–

we ponder, peruse,

perhaps a snooze,


or eat and chat

perhaps a scream


(imagine that)

I think of light

And creativity

of sun and clouds


and starry nights


Ceiling of van Gogh Café

And so, to bed

pillows piled high

from a cat, a gentle sigh

the night here cloudy

perhaps we’ll sleep soundly.

but in our dreams

nothing is as it seems


in our dreams

we fly, starry skies

swirl and flow

on light beams

we ride, silver stardust flows

magic of the night


Immersed in art

through starry nights and clouded days

seeing magic, creativity,

imagination, a constant, that stays


We saw the movie Loving Vincent. Trailer here.

We visited Ground for Sculpture. I have many more photos that may appear at some point.

I missed a couple days of Eliot of Along the Interstice’s November Shadorma Challenge,

so I’ve put a couple into this week’s musings.

32 thoughts on “Starry Nights: Musing and Shadorma Challenge

  1. a lot to unpack in the post and muse about… art and struggle and the artist behind the art… but the artist doesn’t live in a vacuum… and their art continues to ripple out after so many years

    nice job blending in the shadorma into the larger piece

    • Thank you. I guess there always is much to think about on art and creativity and the artists themselves.
      A day or two after we saw the movie, my husband told me he was still thinking about it and thought it was amazing.

  2. One thing that I always wonder about is how few great painters, sculptors, novelists, poets, musicians, composers, dancers, opera singers pass on their genius to a child or grandchild. Compare it with the number of politicians, film stars, film directors, celebrities of all kinds who pass their ‘talents’ on to their children. Funny, isn’t it?

  3. Silver stardust flows!
    Starry nights which are haunting and lovely, with elements of beautiful madness are my reaction every time I see Vincent Van Gogh’s art pieces.
    I love the table outdoors and also forget is it your birthday occasion? Mine is in a short time. I’m a Scorpio but try never to sting or hurt others. . .
    This film sounds fantastic! I will definitely want to see, “Loving Vincent.”
    I like the creative, fun photos of each of you, Merril and hubby. 💕
    I like letters very much. I have kept ones from my brothers, aunt, Mom, Dad and Grandpa, as well as from only my first husband. As father to my oldest two children, Caroline and James they seem like something they may like to read when they are older. 😙 xo

    • Thank you, Robin. I’m glad you enjoyed poem and photos!
      The outdoor table was actually a sculpture! 🙂 Grounds for Sculpture is so much fun.
      My birthday is in December. I received gift passes and gift card to the restaurant from some friends last year (my 60th).
      I hope you get to see the movie.

  4. Van Gogh’s short, jagged lines give the impression of movement, one of the reasons I find his art so appealing. Judging from the movie trailer I imagine the animation heightens that effect.

    Poor mama Van Gogh, throwing his art into a crate. If she only knew how his work has been appreciated since then – and monetized!

    It looks like another lovely weekend taking art seriously. That Doug, such a card. and you too posing with the scupture. Ha!

    • Thank you, Marian. You would enjoy Grounds for Sculpture.
      I get the impression that van Gogh’s parents were dour people, and Vincent could never be what they wanted him to be (which might have been the stillborn baby born before him and named Vincent).

  5. “And when no hope was left in sight on that starry
    Starry night.
    You took your life
    As lovers often do;
    But I could have told you
    This world was never
    Meant for one
    As beautiful as you.”

    A beautiful post, Merrill. – A few lines from one of my favorite songs.

  6. Those sculptures invite those photos! Can’t wait to see more.
    Van Gogh’s colors always astound me. Reproductions never do them justice. I don’t go to movies much, but this one definitely appeals. Your post flows so seamlessly and the visuals and words really complement each other. (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe.
      I think you’d enjoy Grounds for Sculpture (it’s near Princeton, if you ever want to go), and the movie. I can’t believe artists spent so many years painting in oil to recreate van Gogh’s work for it.

  7. Ah, what an amazing and vibrant trek! I felt as if Van Gogh was with us; musing along to your psychedelic journey. The colors you released dance in front of my eyes. I loved you and your husband’s playfulness. Such joy! 💋

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