The Sorrows of Young Werther: May 26.
When you start a fire, you can't just pretend that you don't love the feeling in your blood it brings!
For as long as we’ve been friends, you’ve known about my restlessness and my tendency to settle anywhere I like, to put up with cold showers and bad public transport, just as long as I like the place I’m in. Here, I’ve found all that and I’m still discovering more charming places.
A nearby village is called Walheim. It’s nestled into the side of a hill, and if you follow one of the footpaths that lead upwards, you can enjoy a view of the whole valley. A nice old lady lives there, the local pub owner. She sells wine, beer, and coffee, and is cheerful and pleasant to talk to.
The nicest spot in that village consists in two lime trees, spreading their enormous branches over the little green before the church, which is completely surrounded by the people’s houses and their farms which spiral outwards. Lots of the people here are farmers, die on the same soil the’re born on. I love this place because it’s so completely at peace with itself. Sometimes I go to the pub, order my usual coffee, and then drag out a plastic chair to sit down in the shade of the trees, still reading my aunt’s copy of Homer.
The other day I was wandering around that place which looked completely deserted around noon. Everybody was in the fields except a little kid who looked about 4. He was sitting on the ground and tightly hugged someone who looked like his baby brother to his chest with both arms. They looked very cute, both giggling to each other. I asked them to sketch them, they looked curious and let me, and I sat down and started and added a bit of details like a hedge and the barn-door, and some greasy-looking tires, just as they happened to lie. After an hour, the drawing looked totally fleshed out, without any of my usual flourishes. It looked so simple, but better than anything I’ve ever drawn before.
I take that little episode as just another argument that I want to stick completely to nature in the future. Nature is more creative than I could ever be and can teach me so much. I’ve had human teachers who stuck to rules more than anything else, and the students who practically inhaled those lessons were never the worst ones. Instead, they formed the large medium of the class, and loved to talk about a thousand different styles and influences, but when it came to public exhibitions on campus, they never produced anything creative, anything that really spoke to your feelings.
Most of my classmates didn’t like it when I mentioned that in peer review. The said that their art wasn’t supposed to make you feel, it was supposed to make you think, reflect, discuss, and so on. They encouraged me to do the same. But when I looked at my art, I never wanted to remove it from the things I’m passionate about. Cut out the emotion from my art, or ration it over the course of many artworks? As if anyone could overdose on passion. I’d starve all my creativity by doing that. And I suspect the others are doing just the same to themselves. Maybe it’s a slow death, creeping, approaching with soft steps. Let’s just hope they’re not applying that idiot theory to their loved ones as well.