I have my sister to thank for making me aware of this wonderful, bittersweet video. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. (Perhaps in part because I married into a family with a Dutch last name?) Nah, not really.
To me Van Gogh is a man who came fully alive and did what he was born to do. But it was a bittersweet gift as Van Gogh struggled with depression. (How on earth could anyone capture the emotion in “The Potato Eaters” without experiencing depression first hand?)
I heard a story years ago on Paul Harvey that speculated that perhaps Van Gogh’s depression and ultimate suicide were a result of a toxic element in his paint.
I have a theory of my own. I think anytime there is tremendous gifting, there can be tremendous challenges. And sadly our human nature is to point at the challenges and overlook the amazing gifting that lies on the flip side. (Hello? Entrepreneurs with ADD/ADHD? Dyslexic artists? Strong willed child turned amazing leader?)
I say this because Van Gogh’s dad, Theodoris, figured that if Van Gogh didn’t “fit the mold” then it was Vincent who was defective….not the mold. Might that attitude have played a role in Vincent’s mental torture?
Or perhaps the other theory is correct: It was a dangerous element in the beautiful paint. One can only speculate.
If your kid’s got a label, teach them how to cope with the challenges, let ‘em loose with the paint and watch their masterpiece unfold.