On a small planet spinning through space, a family cries out. Family Spirals® lights the way to reimagine what our families can be, where everyone is secure, families connect, and communities care.
We fulfill our mission through supportive, intercultural, and nature-based strategies that guide us in creating healthy and empathic lives.
Painting: Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. 1889. Oil on canvas. MOMA. Public Domain, from Wikimedia.
We came to our mission through storytelling, as it is revealed in the myriad stories of those whose lives we’ve touched. It is also illustrated through various works of art, as expressed by the strokes of Van Gogh’s paintbrush, perhaps even more so than his letters.
The Starry Night was painted by Vincent van Gogh in the Saint-Paul Asylum, a former monastery, where he stayed voluntarily after an alleged emotional breakdown. It features the view from his second-floor bedroom window facing east, along with an imaginary village and whirling starscape.
This was a man in crisis who turned to Nature and art in an act of grace. He wrote to his younger brother, Theo, that he was trying to get the starry night right, as he experimented with numerous sketches and paintings.1 He also wrote to his youngest sister, Wil, who reportedly corresponded with him the most during the last year of his life. This painting was his testament.
Art and Nature also play important roles throughout our work – liberating the heart, mind, and soul. And our Center on Sibling Dynamics™ highlights the importance of, and possibilities for, our sibling relationships; Vincent, Theo, and Wil represent just this. Among our resources, we list the film, Vincent and Theo, directed by Robert Altman, as well as two books, The Essential Letters and The Van Gough Sisters, based on correspondences between Vincent, Theo and their three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth, and Wil. Just six months after his brother’s death, Theo also died. We know of Vincent’s art and life largely from the efforts of his sister-in-law, Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Vincent’s legacy is more than his paintings, it is a family seeing one another.