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30th May 2007

12:22am: Letter 67
Though I am drawn to eyes that are closed, I am also drawn to eyes that are open.

I have begun to understand Van Gogh's letter to his brother, Theo:
"I prefer painting people's eyes to cathedrals for there is something in the eye that is not in the cathedral."

When I look at Van Gogh's self-portraits, I see how he painted the dimming light around the irises of his eyes. I don't know how he found the courage to paint the vanishing of his own light.

Most of his aviaries had burned by age thirty-six.

He chose to surrender his life rather than surrender his last birds. After completing his final painting, he placed a sunflower seed between his two front teeth.

When he shot himself, he split the seed while standing in a field of corn.

from ashes and snow - Gregory Colbert
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