Giving Thanks: My inevitable connection


Maya Palavali

A piece of art can often speak volumes to a person who connects to it. The Sidekick staff cartoonist Maya Palavali explores her appreciation towards “The Starry Night,” a painting by Vincent Van Gogh that she holds close to her heart.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist

Starry Night,

I have loved you ever since I first saw you.

When I was younger, I was surrounded by a wealth of knowledge. My parents both appreciate traveling and the history behind cultures. While my family discussed the ideas of creativity from across the globe, I learned the art of tuning them out. The idea of sensitivity or appreciation for random subjects was incredibly boring.

Then, you entered my life.

I happened to glance over my father’s shoulder to an image of you and stopped in my tracks. I was immediately drawn to you and had to know more.

Your brush strokes and colors were of course what brought me in, but I was entranced by who you were. Your serenity punctuated with melancholic waves made me feel seen in a way I did not understand.

I could not sleep that night. My mind was filled with thoughts I was not used to. I felt substantial emotions and could not describe them verbally. I went into a period of quiet reflection, an action so unlike me that my friends grew concerned. But, it was not out of sadness. It was for me to find myself.

I only knew art as a frivolous pastime until I saw your composition. I began to take my work seriously with hopes of creating something that would make me feel the same as when I was with you.

My strengths, my accomplishments and my personality can be traced back to you. I found reasons to push myself and absorb information. I found my core values and have stuck to them. You helped me let myself appreciate the value of sensitivity. In my much needed silence, I found my happiness.

Is it strange to think of you as a friend? We have never met in person nor exchanged words of any kind. Yet, we speak in a language only we have mastered. You are alive in my heart and always will be.

But, Starry Night, you do not think of me as “other.” You know that we are made of the same stardust. It is as if I have known you for many lifetimes, with the pattern of my mortality being my inevitable connection with you.

I hope to meet you one day. No, I know we will one day.

But, for now, know I am forever grateful for who you are. And I know you can say the same.

Au revoir,


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