Day 53: Van Gogh and Friends

We visited the Van Gogh museum with two other families today, which for me, was a HUGE success just to coordinate and execute the event itself before the museum closed. 

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Juliana and Van Gogh

I was fascinated watching our lively group move around the museum, especially enjoying the 4 young boys and Juliana with their Treasure Hunt map. Children are more than welcome at the museum and were given a treasure map, a writing board and pencil to discover clues to uncover a secret word. At the end of the treasure hunt, they received a prize – a post card they could choose from their favorite Van Gogh’s masterpieces.  Even watching what they picked entertained me. I liked seeing what drew their attention, and by them picking, we got to have a conversation afterwards. The treasure hunt was a brilliant idea and occupied their attention, taking them from floor to floor and exploring the different works of art. They all became Van Gogh “Experts”. 

One connection I had with Van Gogh, came on the first floor of the museum. When you first walk in, the room is filled mainly with art from other artists. What intrigued me was what was written on the wall about Van Gogh, and his interest and relations with the other artists and why they were important to him. He mentioned that he learned from the others and wanted to collaborate with them. He looked for kindred spirits and wanted to exchange ideas.  

‘People strengthen each other when they work together, and an entity is formed without personality having to be blotted out by the collaboration. … We don’t actually work together, but we have similar ideas about many questions’

This made me think of the friends I choose to surround myself with – I want to collaborate and share ideas and help each other and promote one another. I want to make life better for all of us and enjoy the company of other women creating the same type of “art” as me – creating a balanced, happy, family life and supporting each other through the messy process. I don’t want to take away from anyone else or necessarily copy anyone else, but I want to watch and learn and adopt and create best practices. I used to do this for work once upon a time… hmmm… I like this knowledge sharing thing.

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Girlfriends in Vondelpark

I also really liked the simplicity of Vincent’s work (he used to sign his paintings with only his first name – much less informal which I tend to appreciate!). I liked looking at his brush strokes, the colors and contrasts and details. When we walked over to Vondelpark afterwards, I especially noticed the colors of the trees changing to fall already. Already? Oh, and the light is changing too – it got dark much earlier today.  Change is good.  

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Fall is coming soon

And before I close out today, I wanted to remember Christopher Stevens and his family – the US Ambassador to Libya. We were warned, as Americans, to stay away from the Mueseumplein today as that is where the US Consulate is located. We didn’t want fear to stop us and we thought if we felt afraid, then we would leave the area. When we arrived there today, the front of the building was being guarded by several police on horseback. The flag was at half staff and there were barricades surrounding the building. We did not feel threatened, but we did feel saddened for Mr. Stevens and his family, as well as the other Navy Seals who were killed in the attack.  Rest in peace…Namaste…thank you.

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US Consulate in Amsterdam.