Driving south from Valence to Orange, in Provence, I felt decidedly at home. Vast areas of trees had morphed into shrubs; I saw my first dead grass in Europe; the vegetation had taken on a sage tinge; it was 34 degrees and the chocolate in my handbag was limp.
The cypresses were the only anomaly in this hunching landscape. Whenever I see them my mind flies to Vincent’s works with its lips and waves of richly layered paint.
(I do like to call him Vincent occasionally. Its sounds so amusingly presumptuous, as if I claim some personal connection, but he signed his paintings thus, not wanting to be linked with his father.)
Cypresses – such independence. Even in broad daylight they enfold darkness, harbouring their own dense, crisp, elongated shadows.