Sunday, May 4, 2008
I've been reading a book I got in Amsterdam, Van Gogh's letters, abridged, with biographical info interspersed.
I have also been sleeping a lot, and I'm feeling dopey.
These two relate, albeit distantly.
There has been much thinking about madness and art in both popular and scientific circles. There are many artists who were mad...Van Gogh almost certainly was bi-polar for instance. This is by no means a unique case...and discussion of it has gone on and will go on....for instance here and here or here.
This is not really where I come together with Vincent though...
The next issue of course is medicating the illness.
Now, I am by no means a creative genius. No means. Fact one put forward, I am also quite stunned by the deadening of my impetus and thoughts by these anti-histamines. These are not normal run of the mill pills that you get over the counter, however I am hardly a walking zombie, just a little dopey-er...but I do not have serious creative work in me, I have no desire to paint, and I spent the day on a (much needed) but nearly endless boring menial task, and reasonably contentedly at that.
These are just antihistomines. It is no wonder to me that artists may chose to live with the symptoms of their disease to maintain that razor edge of focus and drive. I have certainly been dulled today, and it is nothing like the powerful mood altering drugs handed to those struggling with mental illness. Indeed I suspect it is not just the artists that resist the drugs; but then there is the struggle to manage the disease.
It is a fascinating and fertile bit of thinking that can go into that....but not for me today...I'm only up to pointing it out, not really thinking about it as of yet.
Maybe the day after tomorrow.