Going to see the same thing differently

Why is the work of great artists so great? Because it handles the same thing in a radically different way. Van Gogh did not paint other sunflowers, but looked at them with different eyes. Which is why he painted them differently. Unheard of different. Never-before-seen deviant. And that is why it was so maligned in its time. Because the different and deviant: the world hates it very much.

And yet this Corona crisis requires different, deviant, otherworldly, thinking and acting. Show yourself an artist of life and try it too.

How? By approaching the same words and feelings that every person knows differently. Learn to deal with it like clothing.

Scared, angry, lonely or sad? Of course you can. But that doesn’t mean you have to wear that feeling. You are not forced to be signed by it.

So don’t automatically put on what most people already wear. What’s in fashion. Lay your anxiety pants, panic shirt or worry skirt on your bed, spread them out and let them tell their story. Not in silence, in ‘thoughts’, but by writing them down and then reading them aloud. This prevents them from secretly developing into an ulcerated wound to begin with.

After which you ‘just’ listen to what you hear yourself read. As you would listen to a good friend who is in mourning and tells his story for the thousandth time.

Take your time. Sit, be still and become present to what the speaker in you, the listener in you is offering. Without any reply or comment. Just as the sea does not express an opinion about an eruption of rain.

The miracle that then happens to you: as if from heaven you are handed new garments. Fresh, fresh, life-giving thoughts and feelings. Which do not come from a book – ‘think positively’ – but from the heart of your existence.

Busy, worried, restless? Think Rembrandt or Van Gogh, Stravinsky or Bach: become proficient in seeing the same thing differently. Here you can practice it.

If you can sing with the angels, wouldn’t you be mad to keep howling with the wolves?

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