In my pile of unwatched videos is a film about the painter Cezanne. Watching it reminded me of a story.
My youth was not spent in the midst of art and music. I remember always the same old master painting of a windmill on the wall in the living room. I remember "Tales from the Vienna Woods" but no opera.
When I was in junior high school, we lived in Joliet, Illinois, and I had to walk quite a way to school every day, even in the cold, windy Chicago winters. I remember walking home one day bent at an angle against the wind. It was possible to let go and lie down on the wind.
One day my mother loaned me a silk scarf to wear to school. Where did she get it? I don't know. On the way to school that morning I took off the scarf and held it up to look at. Around the side it said, "Still life with a basket of apples," and the name of the painter, Cezanne. I looked at it for a long time, awed by the way the apples were painted. It is one of my most vivid memories of that period. What the school or the students looked like I remember not at all.
I looked in books for years for exactly that picture but didn't find it.