Reincarnation is a fact of my life; I accept my demise with equanimity in the certain knowledge that come the spring, I will be born again. My existence is a Technicolor tapestry of adventure, fame, notoriety, sweet and sour memories and surprise, in almost equal measure.
Sometimes my life is so short, there is barely time to ripen before I am plucked from the tree and eaten there and then. In another life I have crossed the Atlantic on the ‘Queen Mary’, been frozen, polished, sprayed with preservative and used to pleasing effect as part of the breakfast table centrepiece for the duration of the voyage.
On occasion I have travelled the world with some extraordinary companions and spent time with persons both famous and infamous. I am beloved of painters, writers and lovers.
I have personally occupied fruit bowls in the bedchamber of Casanova, the studio of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the dressing room of ‘La Goulue,’ famed Can Can dancer of The Moulin Rouge.
John Hancock held me in his hand as he signed The Declaration of Independence. The little spatter of brown marks below the final flourish of his signature are not caused by foxing but by the over enthusiastic enjoyment of yours truly.
Cezanne’s painting ‘Still Life with Apples,’ the one with just four apples on a plate, well, they are all me, painted from four different points of view. Unbelievably, almost a hundred years later I was in St. Petersburg. Imagine my surprise, after spending hours in the darkness of a young man’s pocket, to find myself in The Hermitage in front of that very painting.
I am the stuff of myth and legend, woven through art and literature down the ages.
Once, whilst writing Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson was having difficulty inventing a place for young Jim to hide on the open deck of the Hispaniola. He needed Jim to eavesdrop on Long John Silver as he plotted mutiny with his villainous hand picked crew. Eventually, after much scratching out and scattering of blots, he threw down his pen in frustration. Stomping across the room he whipped the cover from his luncheon tray and reached for the fruit bowl. “An apple!” He exclaimed. “Of course, an apple barrel.” Naturally I am pleased to have been the very apple of his inspiration.
Walt Disney used me as a model for the poisoned apple in ‘Snow White’ and countless times I have been singled out and polished to be an apple for the teacher.
Although modest by nature, I must nonetheless lay claim, on occasion, to being instrumental in changing the course of history. Admittedly I did not really fall on Isaac Newton’s head but it was me he observed falling from the tree. Also, imagine the implications had I not been to hand when William Tell was challenged to shoot an apple from the head of his son. The incident brought him fame and followers, eventually leading to the defeat of the Austrians and the forming of the Republic of Switzerland.
On the whole I am happy to take life as it comes. However, I think the parable of Adam and Eve does me an injustice, I blame the Renaissance painters love affair with Greek mythology.
Otherwise they might just as easily have chosen a bunch of grapes, or a plum, to represent the fall from grace of the human race. Worse, it was I, the very first apple to be depicted as the forbidden fruit in a painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In conclusion, I am satisfied, by and large, to symbolise for all eternity, amongst other things, knowledge, immortality, temptation and Apple Mac.