“If we but try to live uprightly, then we shall be all right, even though we shall inevitably experience true sorrow and genuine disappointments, and also probably make real mistakes and do wrong things, but it’s certainly true that it is better to be fervent in spirit, even if one accordingly makes more mistakes, than narrow-minded and overly cautious. It is good to love as much as one can, for therein lies true strength, and he who loves much does much and is capable of much, and that which is done with love is well done. If one is moved by some book or other, for instance, just to mention something, ‘The swallow, the lark, the nightingale’, The longing for autumn, ‘From here I see a lady’, ‘Never this unique little village’ by, it’s because it’s written from the heart in simplicity and with poverty of spirit.
If one were to say but few words, though ones with meaning, one would do better than to say many that were only empty sounds, and just as easy to utter as they were of little use”.
Vincent van Gogh. From the letter to Theo van Gogh. Amsterdam, 3 April 1878