“I do feel that art can also console”


“But I do feel that art can also console.

Yes it can scarify too, if the need arises. And it does and it does, when storm clouds assail me. But then there is a restoration in that too.

Paul said he sensed a loneliness in The Bedroom, as though, without me in it, that it was incomplete and longing for something more. But I don’t sense that at all, and it certainly was not what I intended. Because, to me, I am in it. Deeply. Intensely.

It’s humble, this little bedroom of mine in sunny Arles, but it’s also where I am. And I wanted it to be consolatory, like the chairs I’m working on. To have one’s own room, with one’s own things, however simple they may be, is still a wonder to me. A small bed to sleep in. A chair to sit and think and write and sketch at my table. My own paintings on the wall, that I painted with my own hand and heart.

Yes, a wonder and a benediction moreso. Even more affirming than the stars, perhaps, and more lasting, somehow. I’ve had my troubles and I owe Theo so much that I can never repay. But I think it’s all been worth it. Sometimes, at least, I feel that way.

When I have slept, and I see that blue light come through a morning window, I do feel that way. I do.”


Novelist, short story writer, essayist, sports writer. Crime novel: Whatever it Takes due out 31 July 2020. The First Sunday in September, debut novel, published in 2018. Mercier Press, Stinging Fly, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, The42.ie, Holly Bough, Honest Ulsterman, Quarryman, Silver Apples.

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