Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.
I have drawn into myself so much that I literally do not see any other people anymore-- excepting the peasants with whom I have direct contact, since I paint them.
There are things which we feel to be good and true, though in the cold light of reason and calculation many things remain incomprehensible and dark. And though the society in which we live considers such actions thoughtless, or reckless, or I don't know what else, what can we say if once the hidden forces of sympathy and love have been roused in us? And though it may be that we cannot argue against the reasoning sentiment and to act from impulse, one would almost conclude that some people have cauterized certain sensitive nerves within them, especially those which, combined, are called conscience. Well, I pity those people; they travel through life without compass, in my opinion.
That God of the clergymen, He is for me as dead as a doornail. But am I an atheist for all that? The clergymen consider me as such- be it so; but I love, and how could I feel love if I did not live, and if others did not live, and then, if we live, there is something mysterious in that. Now call that God, or human nature or whatever you like, but there is something which I cannot define systematically, though it is very much alive and very real, and see, that is God, or as good as God. To believe in God for me is to feel that there is a God, not a dead one, or a stuffed one, but a living one, who with irresistible force urges us toward 'aimer encore'; that is my opinion.
It may be true that there is no God here, but there must be one not far off, and at such a moment one feels His presence; which comes to the same as saying (and I readily give this sincere profession of faith): I believe in God, and that it is His will that man lives not alone but with a wife and a child, when everything is normal.
It is true that every day has its own evil, and its good too. But how difficult must life be, especially farther on when the evil of each day increases as far as worldly things go, if it is not strengthened and comforted by faith. And in Christ all worldly things may become better, and, as it were, sanctified. Theo, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel; if I did not aim at that and possess faith and hope in Christ, it would be bad for me indeed, but no I have some courage.
It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill- it's a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider. I'm all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I'll always remain half crazy.
There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
There may be a time in life when one is tired of everything and feels as if all one does is wrong, and there maybe some truth in it- do you think this is a feeling one must try to forget and to banish, or is it 'the longing for God,' which one must not fear, but cherish to see if it may bring us some good? Is it 'the longing for God' which leads us to make a choice which we never regret? Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.
I have ... a terrible need ... shall I say the word? ... of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.