Monday, February 9, 2009


Mary at Pyroclastic Techniques tagged me with the following award:

The purpose of this award is to let you know that you must post a short list of things you "love" to help your readers get to know you better. Rejecting the award is not an option, besides who'd want to reject attention and glamor anyway?

I have to admit - Facebook kind of tapped me on this and I felt like that list was a bit repetitive of other ones I've done on here. But this has potential and Mary rarely passes things like this on so its all good.

Things I love...

(1) I love school supplies. They just make me happy. I can have only used up half of the supplies I bought for a semester but use the start of a new one to buy a slew more. This fascination has leaked over into stationary fixations, excessive thank you note collections, random half used pads of designer post it notes, fancy scissors, and for a brief stint a gelly roller obsession. I can't wait to have my own house with room enough for an office for me with a fancy desk set and desk pads to my heart's content.

(2) I really love Fozzie Bear. I always identified the most with him. Disney wise, I'd have to go with Archimedes or the bunny kids from Wobin Hoode.

(3) I love folding things, especially into thirds. For this reason I look forward to folding sheets and towels and wash cloths. I don't know if it comes from stuffing so many envelopes or what but if there is anything foldable in front of me it will end up in thirds. Guaranteed.

(4) I love Trader Joe's for many reasons but especially because they have the ambrosial trail mix. It's peanuts, almonds. dark chocolate chips and raspberries. I forget what its called, but Lauren brought it to Palm Springs and its been a staple ever since. The Omega 3 trail mix is my second favorite. I use that in salads a lot.

(5) I love Vincent van Gogh. I didn't used to. I always saw the prints of his work and heard about him being bonkers and cutting off body parts in fits of love and thought he was just someone that I couldn't identify with. Then I went to the landmark van Gogh exhibit that had stopped at LACMA before my mission in '99. I went thinking "well, everyone else is here so there must be something to it" and we waited in line for FOR-EVER but when we finally got in the gallery and I saw the first painting I started to well up and didn't stop the entire time. I think a few tears spilled over when I saw this one
and this oneThese copies of images of prints of the real thing don't come close to the majesty that these paintings have. I already had my mission call and my cousin P had just returned from his mission. He went to Mexico and literally gave away everything he had to the poverty stricken people he served there. He came off the plane with his passport, his scriptures, a very worn suit and a pair of shoes that were barley able to stay on his feet. He was sick but happy. They went to the hospital the next day and he stayed there for his first few days home but I will never forget the sight of those shoes and what they meant and how I saw the exact same kind of noble journey in van Gogh's painting of some dilapidated shoes. I bought a post card of it when we got out of the exhibit and kept it in my scriptures my whole mission. It's there still.

Every van Gogh is an amazing journey. There is almost always a stark foreground and background and you can find a path from one to the other. The Harvester was a perfect example of that and being a called missionary at the time that allusion was pretty obvious and moving. I bought a post card of that too. It's still in my scriptures as well.

The thing is, you HAVE to see it for yourself. Seeing these paintings is an experience. You can feel van Gogh's emotion in every chunk of paint that comes off the canvas. These paintings are all the beautiful things that he desperately thought and felt but that he just didn't have the skill to talk about. The colors and color combinations are something you can only see for yourself. The prints I had seen my whole life were shadows of a sham of how amazing they are. How alive these paintings are, how much of a story they have to tell, and how easy it is to enter into one of them is something only a personal experience can deliver. Sadly most of the exhibit is back in Paris so you'll just have to make the trip...

So yeah - I love van Gogh. He's pretty awesome.


Lex said...

There is a whole Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Just an FYI. Had I known, I would have made you come visit me when I lived there so we could have checked it out together.

Mark Bowman said...

I like what you said about van Gogh.