Thursday, July 14, 2011

One loves because one loves.

I love love. There's no better way to say it. Even when it's ripping me apart, I can't help but draw my little moth self to that flame. This is sometimes a major flaw, you can imagine, as I end up getting my heart trampled on. Inevitably, though, I just pick myself up and start all over again. Happily. Ah well....

The other day I watched a wonderfully-done docu/drama about Vincent Van Gogh on BBC's iplayer. It's no wonder this thing won awards. Beautifully shot, fantastically edited and laid out, it uses only the words of Vincent himself and those around him (people who wrote letters to him, doctors' reports, etc) to tell the story, with just minimal biographical information supplied by a host. The fact that Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) plays the title role makes it positively genius. I haven't watched anything of this caliber in quite a while. Two thumbs up.

At one point in the film, Van Gogh is smitten with a cousin of his who had come to stay at his parents' house while he, too, was living there. He falls deeply for her, becoming slightly obsessive and causing outrage and scandal for all the adults involved. He writes to his brother, though, that not loving fiercely was simply not an option. Now, while I don't endorse stalking or pestering or harassment—not in the least—I can completely understand his sentiment. What's the point if you're not going to throw yourself right in there and get messy, take chances, and make mistakes? (Thank you, Miss Frizzle!) I love fiercely and, though it's definitely not always good for me, I will probably always do so. Thanks to the Google machine I was able to find the full text of Vincent's original letter. Below's the passage quoted in the movie. Delivered flawlessly and trembling with emotion by Cumberbatch.

From the very beginning of this love I have felt that unless I threw myself into it sans arrière pensée [unreservedly], committing myself totally and with all my heart, utterly and for ever, I had absolutely no chance, and that even if I do throw myself into it in this way the chance is very slight. But what do I care if my chance is great or small? I mean, should I, can I, take that into account when I am in love? No, no reckoning up, one loves because one loves.


  1. Great Post. I loved this docu-drama. I also love Van Gogh's quote about life and suffering that was mentioned. I will try to find it for you.

    Do you know that your post has been linked to the BBC site?

    I wanted to mention the soundtrack as well. They used Thomas Newman's fantastic music from the Shawshank Redemption.

  2. Thanks! Glad you liked it. The program was absolutely fabulous - I had no idea the soundtrack was from Shawshank Redemption. I love that movie!