Sunday, September 23, 2012

Taking a walk before heading west

Taking in the same view that inspired van Gogh to paint Wheatfield with Crows

My stride is often criticized for being a saunter. However, I find a slow walk allows the imagination to run wild. This theory was with me today when I stepped off the train at Auvers Sur Oise, made my way up the hill, passing the church to an open field where Vincent and Theo are buried.

Getting from the 10th Arrondissement in Paris to Auvers happened in a flash. At 10am I caught the direct train which only runs on weekends from Gare du Nord. In 30 minutes the busy streets of Paris transformed into rolling farmlands.

Before noon it felt like fall. The sky was a solid tone of gray and the faint breeze had a cold bite. After paying my respects to Vincent and Theo I started to walk the loop that showcases spots that inspired some of Van Gogh's most well known paintings.

By the afternoon the sun started to shine through the clouds. I was making my way towards Dr. Gachet's house when I came across a bench on the side of the tiny street. I took a seat, broke off a piece of baguette, crammed it full of Camembert and started to laugh out loud as I read The Dharma Bums by Kerouac.

I looked up from my book every so often desperately wishing Vincent would pass on his way to meet his friend and physician Dr. Gachet. Once I had my fill of baguette and self-induced hallucinations I continued my journey around town.

Evening arrived around the same time as my train. I took my seat and stared out the window turning my thoughts towards my good friend Pat Bognar. I remembered the first time I heard her rave about Auvers Sur Oise during a Black&White Photography lecture.

1 comment:

pat bognar said...

Dear Brad--I wish I was there with you, but I sort of am because of you! I'd love to see the photos of your walk, and hope you can spend a good amount of time in Paris as well! I love your posts--you and Vincent are my big inspirations!! Thanks for sending them! Your friend, Pat

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