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Chapter 139 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Wandering (2)

"I know loneliness. I lived in the desert for three years. Thanks to that, I know its taste well. There, the landscape of minerals and the erosion of youth don't scare me. Instead, it seems like the whole world far from oneself is aging. Trees bear fruit, the earth pushes up wheat, and women were already beautiful."

- From "Terre des Hommes" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We all know it.

That it's okay to be satisfied even if others don't recognize it.

But we also know this.

How lonely and difficult that path is.

After spending two years in Arles in the South of France, he was discharged from the mental hospital in Saint-Rémy and spent his last 70 days in a small and lonely room.

In this tiny room of barely two square meters, he was there.

It's unclear if he was aware of the last spark of life, but ultimately, he immersed himself in painting as if he had foreseen it, leaving behind 70 pieces.

His most famous work is "Wheatfield with Crows," but other pieces like the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption in Auvers and the portrait of Dr. Gachet also came from here.

His room's ceiling was slanted. It was an attic. A small window tilted towards the sky, a room where stars could be seen.

Always yearning for light, Van Gogh transformed the small, dark attic into a room with a great view. He created a window that opened towards himself through that small aperture.

Marks on the floor suggest where a bed and furniture might have been, but now, only a wooden chair remains.

The wall where the bed might have been is protected with reinforced glass, and an indecipherable sign in French hangs on the wall.

I stood for a long time in front of this incredibly humble and small room.

Suddenly, Don McLean's "Vincent" made to commemorate him comes to mind.

"Now I think I understand

What you were trying to tell me

And how much you worried about your state of mind

And how hard you tried to set your spirit free

They will not listen, they do not know how』

In fact, I can only sing the first part by heart.

“Starry, starry night, Paint your palette blue and gray……”

It's a wonderful song. Just being able to recite a verse or so correctly, it's a song that allows me to express my mourning for Van Gogh.

I feel grateful to the musician who created such a song.

I spent quite some time gazing at that place before discovering an audio-visual room and entering another small room.

There, with soft music playing, were the paintings Van Gogh had created in this place, displayed on a small TV screen.

Watching the paintings with the music, I could feel his loneliness in his struggle with himself and the world, bringing a lump to my throat.

I had spent quite a long time at the inn.

After viewing the room and the audio-visual materials, I had a meal and then slowly walked, looking up at the small inn.

"Where did he say this was?"

The restaurant owner said it would be difficult to walk to the places where the "Wheatfield with Crows" was painted, the cathedral, and his grave.

It's not a neighborhood with many taxis, so the easy way to go would be to rent a bicycle.

When I arrived at the bike rental shop, there were two staff members. Although they didn't speak any English, I pointed at the menu to rent a bicycle for six hours, paid, and got on the bike.

The cool autumn breeze brushed my cheeks as I cycled.

I felt both exhilarated to my core and saddened in reminiscence of Van Gogh's last days here as I cycled through the wind towards the wheatfield.

In truth, the wheatfield was a bit disappointing.

It was just a wheatfield with three paths and a single sign, a rather unremarkable landscape where the paths even ended halfway.

No one knows whether it was like this in the past or if it has changed over time.

Compared to the time spent at the inn, I spent a very short time touring the wheatfield and the cathedral.

The cathedral in Van Gogh's paintings felt as if it was slanting towards the floor, not straight, but the real cathedral was not much different from others. Perhaps it was just a small and pretty cathedral?

I continued pedaling my bicycle to the cemetery and got off at the entrance.

In the cemetery used by the entire village, there were numerous graves. Some graves had large tombstones and beautiful flowers adorning the surroundings, with fancy sculptures, much like Chopin's grave's grandeur.

I first checked the more extravagant graves among the many.

However, after about 30 minutes, I still couldn't find the graves of Vincent and Theo van Gogh.

Eventually, I asked an old man who was cleaning for directions.

“Excuse me.”

What if he doesn't understand English?

The old man just stared at me quietly.

“Do you know where Vincent van Gogh's grave is?”

The old man just looked at me silently. Does he not understand English? Then he spoke.

“Vang Bong Go?”

That's the French pronunciation. I quickly nodded, and the old man pointed near the edge of the grey stone wall surrounding the cemetery.

“Oh, thank you.”

I headed towards the direction the old man pointed and realized why I couldn't find the grave for over 30 minutes.

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