Tag Archives: Van Gogh


20 Nov

Dreams often present plays on words. “Dyed hair” in the dream when the corresponding day residue is having expressed condolences to someone whose relative recently died, for example. I like puns much, much better when they’re in dreams than when I hear them in waking life, where I tend to just groan.

Well, I just got an email that has a whole series of groaners in it:

Family Tree of Vincent Van Gogh:

His dizzy aunt ———————————————– Verti Gogh
The brother who ate prunes——————————- Gotta Gogh
The brother who worked at a convenience store —— Stop N Gogh

…and so on.

Alerted by my extensive background in art history (not!), I thought, “Hmmm, Van Gogh…what nationality was he? Is it possible he was Dutch?” Turning to trusty Google, I quickly confirmed that the answer to that is yes. The pun email turned into one of those very minor synchronicities that I’ve been experiencing for more than a week now.

Vincent Van Gogh, "Self-Portrait with Straw Hat and Pipe"

Vincent Van Gogh, "Self-Portrait with Straw Hat and Pipe"

But there’s also a better synchronicity, to my post yesterday about the Dutch language class at Columbia University. The name Groot and the spelling variation Grout constituted a synchroncity I mentioned in that post.  To which I can now add the first line of the first Van Gogh bio I looked at online just now: “Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland.”

Just to complicate matters, yet another synchronicity occurred when I looked through the table of contents I keep of the titles I give my dreams, trying to find a simple example of word play. The dream title “Columns of Formatting Needs” from May 2 of this year caught my eye, not because there was a marker indicating word play anywhere nearby, but because on November 11, I’d had a dream that I titled “Word Columns on Sloop” (“Word,” in this case, referring to Microsoft Word).

That correspondence of dream titles didn’t, in itself, rise to what I consider to be the level of a synchronicity. No, I do way too much work in tables and columns in Word for the repetition of themes to be unusual.

Dutch Door

Dutch Door, so day residue could easily explain both dreams.

The synchronicity popped up when I opened the May 2 dream record and paged through it. “Columns of Formatting Needs” was the second dream in the file; the first dream that day contains this image: “The top half of the Dutch door is open….”