Van Gogh often painted outside—
looking at the landscape he wanted to image.
So those working to study, preserve and restore
have found, mixed in with the paint in his paintings,
traces of sand and grass—
bits of leaves.
Under a microscope, I could see more than traces of sand
mixed into the paint of a beach scene
and learned that Van Gogh
seized the opportunity
and deliberately took of the sand, mixing it with his paint
to give parts of his painting a different texture and look.
Something to emulate from the master—
oh, not mixing sand with paint,
but all the particular opportunities of a day
into the appreciation of that day.