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Starry Nights Inspire Van Gogh and the Great Questions of Life - Why?

Updated on July 21, 2017

Starry Night 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh

Stars on the Van Gogh-Don McLean connection

"Don McLean wrote Vincent in 1971 after reading a book about the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh. In the 1970s, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam played the song daily and a copy of the sheet music, together with a set of Van Gogh's paint brushes, is buried in a time capsule beneath the museum."

Starry, starry night

Paint your palette blue and grey

Look out on a summer's day

With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills

Sketch the trees and daffodils

Catch the breeze and the winter chills

In colours on the snowy linen land

Van Gogh's paintings set to Don McLean's "Starry, Starry Night"

Why do starry nights inspire philosophical conversation?

Stars spark thoughts from deep in the mind or the spirit. Somehow, stepping out under the stars, on a clear night, takes away the fripperies of the day and presents the stargazer with a glimpse of the universe beyond earth; maybe a glimpse of infinity. Awe tumbles into questions; philosophical questions often neglected in the haste of living. Why and how does this happen?

Symbolically, as the stargazer steps out from the confines of home, domestic, work and even leisure chains are unlocked for awhiles. Routine performances are breathed away. Twinkling stars, scattered in a sea of midnight blue, seem to be a heavenly waiting stage, beyond earthly landscapes. The stage awaits for a higher level of self to converse with the soul; to share philosophical questions with others; even to open communication channels with a personal sense of Supreme Being.

Spending time beneath the stars awakens a sense of timelessness. For a moment, there is a window on the vastness of space. Does time have a beginning? An end? What does time mean?

The silver stars are like precious gems, multi-faceted precious gems. Is the universe a priceless treasure waiting to be discovered? Is there life, higher life forms beyond Earth?

Tiny stars gleam in huge, dark space. Just how vast is space beyond Earth? Is humanity just a small speck, a blink in the celestial heavens? Often, an overwhelming rush of feeling small and insignificant follows these philosophical questions.

As the questions evolve, the stargazer continues to look upward. It is as if the questions are carried up and beyond, for the Universe to answer? Someday? Somewhere?

Often, the stars awaken a sense of the divine, sacredness of all life; even in the most hardened heart. Is there a God? Who is God? There must be some Master Creator for all these worlds to be?

And for those who know their God, there is a priceless sense of closeness. Hear my prayer? Let me know you more? The philosophical questions are like words of a child, needing protection, reassurance.

Gently, the stars awaken old, dormant channels of the soul. The experience of voicing philosophical questions, in the form of an inner dialogue or actual conversation with others, is like a fresh draught through musky corridors. A beautiful sense of inner peace and oneness with the universe follows. Daily tensions seem smaller, just passing shadows in the scheme of things.

The stars above become the stars within.

Wondering - Who Am I?

Vincent Van Gogh Starry Lights over Rhone
Vincent Van Gogh Starry Lights over Rhone

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    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Lovely! Thoughtful reflections on starry nights! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Enjoyed your page on Starry Starry Night AuraGem, the Don McLean song wth Van Gogh's paintings evokes so much pain and anguish suffered by the artist. It is truly touching. Regards, snakeslane

    • vivien880119 profile image

      vivien880119 

      8 years ago from China

      What a beautiful picture and what a touching song

      whisper,starry starry night . Paint your palette blue and grey

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      O I so love your comment philosopher! Especially love to think I am a little higher than rabbit's fur, though I respect their softness! Thank you for sharing!

      Smiles and Light

    • The Philosopher profile image

      The Philosopher 

      10 years ago from Chicago.IL

      this really gives you a sense of not only identity, but of the many questions of whether a higher bring exists. This passage makes one think deeper than a mundane 9-5 life, being confound by the chains of a conformic society.

      My "Dont Fear to fly" passage really corresponds with this message

      I love you ideas, keep high above the rabbits fur, where the true answers exist

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for reading M.Beck! Glad you enjoyed!

      Smiles and Light

    • M. Beck profile image

      M. Beck 

      10 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Great hub AuraGem.

      I love Van Gogh and Don McLean has been a guilty pleasure of mine since I saw him perform Vincent on VH1, back when the music video channel played music videos.

      Thanks for the link too, much appreciated.

      -M.

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      LOL! Glad to know you find something worth stealing! That's an honour! But don't! LOL!

      Smiles and Light

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      10 years ago from Chennai

      It lingers; that it does. I only have to be not tempted to steal it!

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Kenny...strangely that line was originally my first thought! But then I felt it needed to have its own special place of lingering beauty at the end!

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      10 years ago from Chennai

      Van Gogh painted the starry night as a pulsing reflection of his mind. One of my favourite artists, whose works were visual music.

      "The stars above become the stars within."

      Wonderful line that, Gemma!

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you so much for your thoughts Nightflower.

      More words from the song:

      "But I could have told you Vincent

      This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you."

    • NightFlower profile image

      NightFlower 

      10 years ago

      Funny you should write this...poems about "the night" are my favorite

      to write about. The starry skies does send one of on a tangent, searching

      for the endless possibilities, it beauty propels the soul to probe it's meaning.

      I also had no idea that Don McCleans "Starry Starry Night" was inspired by

      Vincent Van Gogh but it sho makes since. I like!

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Anam Cara - I am quite overwhelmed with your response. It is just so moving and beautiful! I do thank you so much. I have just ben seeking the meaning of your pen-name. I t means "soul place"? I love it!

    • profile image

      Iðunn 

      10 years ago

      anam cara... An bhfuil Gaeilge agat?

    • profile image

      Anam Cara 

      10 years ago

      Awesome hub! The questions you posed made me ponder and recall the teachings of the 'old one'. The universe is what we believe it is. No man is wrong and yet no man is right about his knowledge of the universe. There is no mystery except that it is what each of us believes that it is. Does time have a beginning? An end? What does time mean? I have learned that moments and eternity are the same - our soul does not keep time. It merely records growth.But what is the universe? Rather I ask, what is not the universe. Is it everywhere? Each of us is one with the universe. Through our inner and outer experiences we learn that the universe is in our eyes, and in our heart. As a seed of a fruit contains the fragrance of the flower, and the substance of the fruit and the bitter pit at its core, yes even that. Every one is in his own place according to his understanding. Each person must start with themselves, within themselves, by slowly combining their harmony, the bond between the finite and infinite, the inner essence of their spirit and the limitless power of the universe.

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks coolbreeze!

    • coolbreeze profile image

      Rik Rodriguez 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      I have played and sang that song for yeas . But I didnt know it was about Van Gogh

      Nice Hub!

    • AuraGem profile imageAUTHOR

      AuraGem 

      10 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for your support! It is most welcome!

    • profile image

      Iðunn 

      10 years ago

      I remember the McLean song from my childhood. Thoughtful hub, AuraGem and of course, the images are lovely.

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