The faceless couple in Van Gogh's blue wood, is walking where there is no path, amid tall, seemingly branchless blue and pink trees. The tree crowns are beyond the frame, reaching up into our mind's eye— because we know where trees go and that they are full of wind and a thousand softly stirring machines that are alive. Equally out of sight, nests of intricately woven strength and fragility hang like proofs that there are no diagrams or maps for life's most important journeys. The horizon at the couple's back, between the trees, is black. They walk toward relative light. Crowds of waist-high flowers, on thick-leaved stalks, sing in stout slurries of pink and white. The couple cannot think of anything good ever coming from anger, so they are more happy than not. That could be true. Maybe I want it to be true of me, of us. And like us, they may have worn paths to the most forest-deep secrets in each other's lives. Or, perhaps they are only now on their way to the place where they will become lovers, the excitement of their flesh through their clothes singing, making them careless, giddy, and light as birds in flight. Of course, we can't know any of this. Perhaps, even Van Gogh didn't know anything about them, maybe that's why he didn't give them faces: so many unseen possibilities lived in a blue wood, so like ours.
From A Tide of a Hundred Mountains by Richard Levine. Copyright © 2012 by Richard levine. Reprinted with permission of Bright Hill Press. All rights reserved.