Chapter Seven


There is only one time when we give it all away, the sorrow and the joy, the circle of the soul. Before this is practice, imagining, puzzles with pieces missing, and afterwards - approximations, sometimes beautiful, but compromises nonetheless.

One August 1963 afternoon in the New York City apartment of a friend, the door flew open and a tall, lanky, long-fingered, big-knuckled, 18-year-old Swiss painter stepped into my heart. In the United States on a six-month visa, he had been traveling around the country and had the address of my friend to look up.Though it has been a good 40 years since that day, I can remember exactly the tone of his voice, the accent, the intensity that burst from him, and the smell of the unfiltered French Gauloises cigarettes he chainsmoked all his life (and which contributed to his death from throat cancer in 2002). He came out of a background full of European bohemians. His mother, Eva Aeppli, was an artist as well, her second marriage to the well-known metal sculptor, Jean Tinguely, ending in divorce that year. He spoke Swiss-German, French, and English and had spent the past several years in Paris.

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