Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meet Vincent

This is my lion, Vincent. Say hi!

I named him so because of one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who, Vincent and The Doctor. Vincent Van Gogh in the episode has a ginger beard, and my lion is orange, so I figured... Why not? ^_^

I won Vincent at a birthday party a couple months ago. Now, every time I look at him, I can be reminded of one of the best characters in Doctor Who since Sarah Jane and Tom Baker ruled the show.

Vincent and the Doctor is a story of undying love, of beauty through pain, of a heart so passionate it hurts. Together with Amy Pond, the Eleventh generation of the Doctor travels through time in his TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) and meets the famous (or not-so-famous yet) painter, Vincent van Gogh, in the attempts of alleviating some of his pain and battling an invisible monster that plagues the village and its inhabitants. Vincent shows such kindness to the Doctor and Amy as I've never seen before by anyone, and his passion... Oh, his passion is something to admire. The way he talks about the stars and makes reference to God's creation in such a way that almost accurately portrays their brilliance. Not many people can say that they've looked up into the heavens on a starry night as a Dutch artist with a flaming red beard and a heart overflowing with passion and delight describes the entire scene to them in words so beautiful, anyone would be captured. In a perspective that is so completely and refreshingly his.

And the pain he goes through. You can see it, you can feel it, you can relate to it. That's how real this magnificent character is. At the beginning of the episode, the Doctor and Amy meet him trying to sell a painting of his. He just wants to be heard, to be noticed. But more than that, he wants the beauty of life to be seen by everyone, not just himself. He yearns for it to be appreciated just as much as he clings to it. Yet when nobody else sees it as he does, he despairs and sinks into loneliness and no one can lift him out of it. But he still has a faint glimmer of hope, and that's what matters. And he can see Amy's loneliness because of how true his heart is. He, above most, knows people. He's experienced the raw emotions of sorrow, regret, delight, loneliness, overwhelming joy, love, compassion, deep sadness. He cries for the world because he knows.

And then there's the Doctor. Lonely as ever, tortured with pain and sadness and losing people, though with an enthusiasm so bright that he listens intently as Vincent tells him about the magnificence of the universe, while silently saying "I know. I've seen all of this and much, much more. I've seen the universe at its best and at its worst. I've seen the stars in their fullest radiance and I've felt the heat of the sun, so I know. You don't need to tell me." The Doctor admires and appreciates things everywhere. Vincent is grounded on earth and appreciates them from afar.

Vincent Van Gogh: Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character. The black is, in fact deep blue. And over there: lighter blue and blowing through the blues and blackness the winds swirling through the air and then shining, burning, bursting through: the stars! And you see how they roar their light. Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.
Vincent Van Gogh: It seems to me there's so much more to the world than the average eye is allowed to see. I believe, if you look hard, there are more wonders in this universe than you could ever have dreamt of.
The Doctor: You don't have to tell me.

And then they show Vincent into the TARDIS and take him to a modern day museum where he sees all of his paintings displayed on the walls. He was noticed, his voice was heard. Even if it took until after his death.

Vincent Van Gogh: [after seeing the TARDIS interior] How come I'm the crazy one, and you two have stayed both sane?

And when Vincent heard this being spoken of him... He cried.

The Doctor: Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?
Curator: Well... um... big question, but, to me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world's greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.

Later, once they said their farewells to their painter friend, they discovered Vincent took his life only a few short months later. His suicide still happened, though he seemed to have regained new hope.

Amy Pond: We didn't make a difference at all.
The Doctor: I wouldn't say that. The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey. [hugs Amy] The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

I don't think there's any more that can be said. The Doctor said it perfectly. Everyone, a moment of silence for our dear friend, Vincent Van Gogh, who made a difference. Who let his passions be discovered and who influenced a world of hurting people. Praise God for a man like Van Gogh.


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