January 26, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal

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Let us preserve religiously, secure, protect the coincidence of our life with the life of nature.

Excerpt of a letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, 24 September 1888

If we study Japanese art, we discover a man who is undeniably wise, philosophical and intelligent, who spends his time – doing what? Studying the distance from the earth and the moon? No! Studying the politics of Bismarck? No! He studies … a single blade of grass. But this blade of grass leads him to draw all the plants – then the seasons, the grand spectacle of landscapes, finally animals, then the human figure. That is how he spends his life, and life is too short to do everything.

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So come, isn’t what we are taught by these simple Japanese, who live in nature as if they themselves were flowers, almost a true religion?

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