Monday, July 06, 2009

Small World

Vincent Van Gogh, as we all know, was a famous Dutch painter. In the last ten years of his life he produced around 2000 works of art - paintings, sketches. He is known to have suffered mental illness(es ) of some sort, and I am not sure any theoretical diagnosis has come to be known as fact. He spent a great deal of his artisitic years living in France. When he was 35 he moved to Arles, France and spent a year painting there. Two years later, he shot himself and died two days later.

Jeanne Louise Calmet was a Frenchwoman who was born, lived 122 years, and died in Arles. That's a long time! And a long time to live in one place. When she was 13 she had the opportunity to meet Vincent van Gogh. She attributed her long and healthy life to garlic, vegetables, cigarettes, red wine, chocolate, and "avoiding brawls". I bet she and I could have been best friends! She quit smoking at age 119, because she could no longer see to light up. She took up fencing at age 85. Jeanne Louise rode a bike until she was 100. Can you imagine that? She's my kinda gal.

Le Tour wended its way through Arles this morning. I wonder if any of the cyclists had pause to think about van Gogh OR Jeanne Louise Calmet today?

Probably not.

1 comment:

Gill said...

I want to take up fencing!

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