Today's Monday haibun is about reflecting on Vincent Van Gogh's painting, "View of the Church of de Mausole". I found this a delightful exercise.
If I were to choose a calendar month for this painting, it would most likely be autumn. But because of the way light from the sun falls on the fields and spreads like butter throughout the sky, it could be Van Gogh's depiction of a spring or summer day..or even a colder, winter scene.
Autumn leaves streak across the sky, or could those be morning cirrus clouds sprayed gold by the rising sun? Perhaps it is a hot afternoon or almost twilight when the sunset melds everything into long shadows and afterglows of the day's mirages. Would shadows be as prevalent or stretched long if it were painted during the earlier part of the day? Van Gogh's blues and golds, heavily splashed on canvas, flow like a river, suggest evening-time. But, they seem to reflect the sky in the terrain below. There is no obvious snow and the trees have most of their leaves, so I am leaning toward a late September day.
I am struck by Van Gogh's ability to express such passion so boldly. I am impressed he doesn't appear to hide secrets or hold back his fears, joys and sorrows. I imagine him sitting on a stool not far away, wildly wielding his brushes up and down and across, driven, his clothes splattered in colors of paint and his face awash with red in the heat of his work.
Buoyant solace, mirth
Vincent's French countryside church