Van Gogh shot himself in the stomach. In a cornfield in France.
Corn that was a color we now think of in terms of Van Gogh.
Then after he regained consciousness he walked miles back to the house where he was living with an art loving doctor. Enfeebled by depression and God knows how many other mental illnesses, probably a rare form of epilepsy, and possibly syphilis, he was still strong enough to make a walk that would have killed most men.
Strength learned from the coal miners he preached to in the Borinage.
Strength forged in the burning sun of Arles.
Strength that showed him the sun in sunflowers.
And the fire in the stars at night.
Strength that let him survive another couple days before dying in his brother's arms.
His brother who would die of a mysterious illness (and probably syphilis) almost exactly six months later.
He had a vision and genius that was as rare as it gets. He saw beauty where others saw only ugliness. He found love where others saw only sin. He painted in a passionate fury that he himself was barely able to harness.
Once he figured out that he was a painter, that is. He didn't even consider it until he was 28.
So my question for the moment is - where are you? On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is having sex with your gorgeous true love in a beautiful room with a view of Van Gogh's France on the night you won your Nobel Prize, and 1 is shooting yourself in the stomach, where are you right now?