A Dutch Master’s Lessons in How to Love Again

Johannes Vermeer Showed Me What Intimacy Really Looks Like

the milkmaid - vermeer

Ten years ago, I had a life-changing experience with art. I’d been going through a vicious divorce that year, struggling with depression, and frankly was not doing well in any area of my life. A powerful impulse to escape, to put an ocean behind me, took hold one Thursday afternoon. I cashed out my Frequent Flyer miles that evening, and arrived in Amsterdam a day later.

I’m a poet; I don’t have an art background. But I knew that Rembrandt was probably my favorite painter, and I went into the …

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