A leaf



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When a leaf falls from a tree, with the same synchrony, in a million places happen a million different things. Big and little events, ordinary and unusable.

That leaf will keep falling with the same cyclic nature for the next seasons, for the same reasons; not that lead, alas, but another and another one again. I stay here observing it, following its soft trajectory, thinking of those millions of other events, big and little, ordinary or not, that happen in a million of other places.

Humanity suffers from a collective Alzheimer whose weight is unaware. It is difficult to set the size of a historical memory, but I suppose its duration is increasingly shorter. A memory, even the most tragic one, is a duty we run from for disparate reasons, leading from opportunism to dishonesty, from suspicion to indifference.

Children of the shortcut and faster path, of phenomenality and trend, prophets of speed of execution and practical advice, our overbearing need for a stage where to perform even without skills is the panacea of a limitless hedonism that only provides one place on the earth that obviously is for the winner.

The discreet fall of the leaf is there to remind the limits that we prefer not to take into account. Remembrance looks dangerous and the memory is painful, as well as for what is represented, because it reminds us that we will pass and of us will remain the anonymous or a never-elevated bust, even if it were, it would be unknown.

The sun warms the colours of late autumn. From the point where I stand, looking beyond a long row of stone pines, there stands out on the optical plane the profile of the Aqua Claudia, year 38 AD. My thinking is distracted by the playing of two Labradors chasing each other in the area used for dogs. I smile and look at my watch. It is time to come back.

Along the tree-lined avenue, a carpet of dry branches. I walk up, another leaf comes off and it seems to me that it extends its descent, like a wave. I say goodbye, I do not even know to who or what, but I return my respects, I collect it and keep it in my pocket.  


 

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018




© Enrico Mattioli 2018