Fragments from Van Gogh’s letters:
you feel that you’re alive when you remember that you have friends who are outside real life as much as you.
‘Don’t lose heart if it is very difficult at times, everything will come out all right and nobody can in the beginning do as he wishes.’
I strongly advise you to smoke a pipe; it is a remedy for the blues, which I happen to have had now and then lately.
You must by no means suppose that I have great illusions about the appreciation of my work; I think one must be satisfied if one succeeds in convincing a few people of the seriousness of one’s intentions
if, defrauded of the power to create physically, a man tries to create thoughts in place of children, he is still very much part of humanity.
I wish I could manage to make you really understand that when you give money to artists, you are yourself doing an artist’s work,
Perhaps I exaggerate in the misery of my having been bowled over by my illness again – but I am sort of afraid. You will say – as I say to myself too – that the fault must be within me and not in the circumstances…
We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: “He is the one.” But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.
I let people say of me and think of me whatever they like and treat me just as they like – that is their business; I am not obligated to listen to their everlasting drivel. My parents, my teachers, Messrs. Goupil & Co., and furthermore all kinds of friends and acquaintances have said so many unpleasant things to me for my own good and with the best intentions that in the end the burden has become a little too heavy for me; and since I let people talk without paying any attention to it, I have not fallen off, my friend – this much I think I know for sure.
‘Honestly, I have had some happy hours here, yet I don’t have plain and complete confidence in this happiness, in this peace. The one may be the result of the other. Man rarely declares that he is satisfied; as soon as he finds that that it goes too well, the sooner he thinks that it will not go well enough. But this is in parenthesis; we must not talk about it, but continue quietly on our way’.
‘What is at the bottom of the heart stays at the bottom of the heart.’
Let’s not give in, but try to be patient and gentle. And do not mind being eccentric; keep yourself to yourself, and distinguish between good and evil for your own sake even if you do not show it outwardly.
The wide, wide world http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/warner-susan/wide/wide.html