Those who have fallen

Tibouchina urvilleanum

It’s about a week away from the autumnal equinox, this perfection evanescent balance of light and dark on Earth. As we move into greater darkness, plants will cannibalize their green chlorophyll machinery and sequester energy for the future. The leaves will turn yellow, then brown, and finally yield to the grip of gravity.

The other day I walked past fallen royalty, the purple petals of the flower of Princess on Noriega Street. The tree’s energy will now shift from producing flowers to forming fruits.

Leaves and flower petals aren’t the only things that fall. I streamed a movie the other night when I knew nothing more about it than the fact that it starred Harry Dean Stanton. I almost turned it off during the slow start, which included scenes of an old man doing his morning exercises in his underwear. Something that happens pretty much every day where I live. In fact, I hope I still do when I’m 90 like Harry the was in the movie, called Lucky .

I think I was reaching for the remote when the beat picked up. accelerated in no time. Perhaps that’s when David Lynch appeared, full of years and quirky lines such as “There are things in this universe, ladies and gentlemen, that are greater than all of us. And a turtle

is one of them!”. (Although David Lynch has a brother named John, David is not related to the film’s director, John Carroll Lynch.)

You could be forgiven for thinking of Lucky as more one winter film than an autumn film. But Harry’s fall from grace is a metaphor for mankind’s fall from grace, his banishment from the Garden of Eden for breaking a rule. Don’t light up. Do not become enlightened. If you eat the fruit of knowledge, you will be expelled as a fallen angel. Personally, I like to think that this story is about the knowledge of good and evil being the turning point between our animal state of nature and our cultural state of civilization.

Not that I subscribe to such an arbitrary notion that civilization is antithetical to nature. Even though we insist that they are different, they remain related. And if you’re wondering who the real boss is, think what civilization would be like without plentiful fresh water. Here we are in all our glory, fanciful human beings, totally dependent for our lives on a single small molecule.

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