Melancholic Triggers

As you might remember, I had said I was thinking of creating Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in tesserae mosaic tiles.  Well, the pattern is created and the tiles have been ordered and received.

All the time I was creating the pattern, I was hearing Don McLean’s song “Vincent” in my mind. 

Starry .starry night
paint your palette blue and grey
look out on a summer’s day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils
catch the breeze and the winter chills
in colors on the snowy linen land. 

This song haunted me so, I called a friend who has an extensive collection of what I call “Back on the Block” music to have him burn me a copy of the album “American Pie”.  Unfortunately, “American Pie” was not in his collection. 

The next step was to visit, which proved helpful.  In fact so helpful,  I also added to my collection, James Taylor’s “the best of james taylor”, Jim Croce’s “Classic Hits” and the Carole King & James Taylor “Live At the Troubadour” album. 

But back to that song, why is it that it haunts me so?  Could it be because it is from times remembered fondly?  Times I so wish I could recapture today; simpler times, happier times, carefree times; times before life’s cruel lessons have been taught or learned?

Or could it simply be the artist in me?

Starry, starry night, paint your palette blue and grey


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. storiesfromthestove
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 13:00:17

    I think humans have a need to feel connected to their experiences both past and present. It seems to me that our senses, particularly music, are very capable of doing that. I agree with you that music takes us right back, but what about the scent of perfume, a painting, or a smile, they all do the same. As for your question, perhaps the sight of a painting you love, McLean’s words that describe it, and the sound of music have stirred a number of your senses, which have profoundly evoked a past experience.


    • Arlene
      Jun 25, 2010 @ 14:14:26

      You hit it right on the nose, Charlie. For me it was that particular work of Van Gogh’s and the words of the song – oh, how tortured Vincent was. And yes, sometimes it is a scent, in fact many times it’s the scent. But what always seems to evoke memories for me is auditory, music or the timbre of a voice.


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