last leaf

Skyline of West VA presents quite a scene and makes a case for Fall foliage. We used to play King of the Hill on top of a heap of dead leaves.

Reminds me of the Last Leaf, a story about a terminally ill patient looking out the window and said “when those leaves all fell away, I too would take my last breath”.

Our hero in the story waited till night fall to climb and paint an autumn leaf on the wall outside the window. “See, there is still hope. That last leaf still hangs in there, so can you”.

The patient eventually recovered. Without delivering the last lecture, he had the last laugh thanks to that last leaf.

The wheel of commerce has got stuck for quite some time. No capital for our capital-driven society, like a deer caught in an incoming headlight.

Terminally ill but still hopeful.

People already coined a new phrase,  “the post-consumerism society” (are we going to recycle old clothes, old styles – 70’s? ).

Like the terminally ill patient,  we as a society needs to hone our will to survive.

If I were the last leaf, I would dance with the wind, even defy gravity to buy me some time. And I refuse to go out with that institutional fluorescent overhead light (by default, it’s our last view while alive).  I would smile, and thank all the kind faces that have smiled at me during my entire life.

I often visited a cousin outside of HCMC. She was said to have visited me when I was born. I must have remembered it well, because I have returned the favor many times over.

In between stimulus and response, there is a pause. That pause of a millisecond could be for good or ill (The Vietnamese revolutionist once said to the French executioner at the gullotine, “let me die looking up so I can see how sharp your blade is”.)

In between Empty and the actual stopping of a car, there is always a reserve.

We have that reserve of good will, resilience, adaptability and untapped resources.

Put it to use now. Make it contagious. Practice leadership skills (Mongolian Khan got out of prison because his wife sold herself to the silk traders to bail him out. We know  the rest of history).

That’s Khan. That’s his-story. Now, it’s our-story. Last leaf or last laugh?



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