15 September 2009

Starry Starry Night

Of his many profundities, Vincent VanGogh said, “For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” I’d like to think that he painted Starry Starry Night shortly after that statement. Although notorious and mass-produced around us, I do believe that its brush strokes have a mesmerizing, captivating effect; the piece is truly timeless.

VanGogh also said that when he felt the need for “religion” he would simply go and paint the stars. After camping in Africa, I think he’s on to something. And I think I'll write the stars instead...

The depths of remote and rocky Namibian desert yield stars galore, so many that night becomes day with the entire universe glowing above. When I close my eyes I still see that velvet blue sky speckled with yellow glimmers, free from trees or buildings or obstruction of any sort. Just thousands of bright dots above.

Flickering candles in white paper bags filled with sand illuminate the ground around me, creating ground paths to The Namib Marimbas band playing Namibia’s national anthem in the distance. I sit fireside between rock formations echoing the line of xylophones and drums. I awake in the morning wreaking of campfire soot, and wondering if I dreamed the entire scene.

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