Monday, May 17, 2021

Night Time is the Right Time (for some) --- Day 10/17

Walk: Monday errands

Distance: 3 cold, windy miles, Yoga

Vincent Van Gogh, Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888,  31.8" x 25.7", o/c

So, Ciwt bought a plane ticket to go to a life celebration for someone she knew.  She was to land at a pleasant late afternoon time which would be perfect for a leisurely settling into a socially distanced, covid restricted  hotel and eating a light dinner outside.  Then she started receiving "airline updates" for her flight which have her lucky to find her way to her hotel by 10 p.m.  And now the governor of the state she's visiting has lifted All covid restrictions - no masks, no social distancing, life celebrations are come one, come all.  

Quite the shock for Ciwt who has been living under strict covid mandates for over a year.  And did she mention she dislikes flying?   Looks like she'll need to give the airline and those expecting her an "update."

So what does all this have to do with the beloved and second-most reproduced painting above? (Van Gogh's Starry Night is first) Well, it makes Ciwt wish she could be carefree about when her plane lands, etc and was as in love with night as Vincent Van Gogh.  As he wrote his sister from Arles shortly after completing Cafe Terrace at Night, "...the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." It also surfaced his deep and abiding religious impulses.  In another letter to his brother, Theo, he wrote "I have an immense need for (should I use the word) religion; and then I go out at night into the open and paint the stars.."

And look at that star-filled sky!  Who could not find hope and comfort in its twinkling, radiant energy. And such a contrast from the cafe's more harsh artificial lighting which was relatively new to Arles at the time. (Paris itself had only been lit at night since around 1853).

The cafe where Van Gogh set up his easel and painted during the nights in 1881 is still there.  It was refurbished to replicate the painting and renamed Cafe Van Gogh in 1991.   Maybe when Ciwt's a more relaxed traveler, she'll take a trip to it.  But she's a day person and won't go at night.

Cafe Van Gogh, Arles, France

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