The song is beautiful and heartbreaking and it still brings tears to my eyes when I listen to it, a decade later. The lyrics are haunting, reflecting van Gogh’s life and the themes surrounding it. Don McLean’s emotive voice never ceases to affect me.
The painting has an even darker feeling than the song. It draws me in not only because of the sapphire colors I love, but also because of the background story of van Gogh and my own identification with it.
For me, the painting can be both beautiful and sinister, disarming and disturbing. It greatly depends on what mood I’m in when I look at it, especially if I am depressed.
Starry Night represents depression to me. Sometimes life can be beautiful and there is warmth and hope in sight. Other times, the darkness rears up in front of you and overwhelms nearly everything else, drawing all of your focus away from the good things until they’re all but blotted out. The swirling clouds reflect my own circular thought process when I am caught up in depression, and the remoteness of the town below is a visual marker for how distant and alone I can sometimes feel.
Needless to say, the painting expresses the ebb and flow of my feelings very well. I feel connected to it, and I was thrilled to find a gorgeous framed 3-D version of it a few years ago that truly brings it to life. No matter what I’m feeling, Starry Night always has something to say back to me.