In ethics class so many years ago our teacher asked this question every fall: If there were a fire in a museum, which would you save, a Rembrandt painting or an old woman who hadn’t many years left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs caring little for pictures or old age we’d opt one year for life, the next for art and always half-heartedly. Sometimes the woman borrowed my grandmother’s face leaving her usual kitchen to wander some drafty, half-imagined museum. One year, feeling clever, I replied why not let the woman decide herself? Linda, the teacher would report, eschews the burdens of responsibility. This fall in a real museum I stand before a real Rembrandt, old woman, or nearly so, myself. The colors within this frame are darker than autumn, darker even than winter — the browns of earth, though earth’s most radiant elements burn through the canvas. I know now that woman and painting and season are almost one and all beyond the saving of children.