Call Me Vincent, Call Yourself Vincent


van gogh starry night vincent van gogh

“O bailan todos o no baile nadie.” — the Tupamaros

The Universe is a poem without foreign words.

My loved ones laugh at me when they hear I’ve been listening to John Denver. They’re sweet souls, but when they do that they’re doing — essentially — the same thing Hillary Clinton did when she invoked the image of “deploreables” on her deplorable campaign trail.

We’re moving at the pace of an arthritic snail when it comes to building bridges between the different roads that people take in their journeys ’round this million-petaled flower. The devotees to punk and ambient music, hip up the kazoo, can no longer afford to look down at someone traveling down that old country road. Ditto for quiet classical fans or rap men and women with sightless eyes.

Here I am bearing my heart to you, wanting you to get the fact that if everyone isn’t dancing no one is going to dance. And part of that equation has to underscore that the dancing must honor the singular beats that pulse in each and every unique soul.

Listen to the music playing in your daughter’s room, in your son’s head. In your neighbor’s bed. At the wedding down the street where two sweet souls are making vows forever and taking to the dance floor. What’s more, tune into the Song that plays incessantly courtesy of the Universe.

Above and beyond the obligatory Om.

The hums of the hills of West Virginia that John Denver honored in song are no longer alive, dying in decrepit depths more and more with each and every wretched word I write to you.

I wanna know if you’ve ever listened to those called insane. [Pause.] We can, truly, stop the pain we’re inflicting on Mother Nature, on ourselves… on the very Om embedded in the Universe. But our action must begin with naming properly.

Call me Vincent. [Pause.] Call yourself Vincent too.

Flannery O’Connor Academy is a home schooling “song” devoted to the kind of Liberal Arts education that makes teen suicide highly unlikely. The author and all the students can be reached at [email protected]. They all want to know if readers have ever listened to the pain in themselves.




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