Day after day, alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still
Nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
John Lennon/Paul McCartney, The Fool on the Hill
What am I in the eyes of most people? A nonentity or an oddity or a disagreeable person — someone who has and will have no position in society, in short a little lower than the lowest. Very well — assuming that everything is indeed like that, then through my work I’d like to show what there is in the heart of such an oddity, such a nobody. This is my ambition, which is based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Even though I’m often in a mess, inside me there’s still a calm, pure harmony and music. In the poorest little house, in the filthiest corner, I see paintings or drawings. And my mind turns in that direction as if with an irresistible urge.
Vincent Van Gogh, from a letter to his brother Theo, July 1882
We are fools for Christ’s sake…
1 Corinthians 4: 10
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25
Van Gogh, poor, in need of healing, gives to us and heals us still.