I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September song

Yesterday while walking in Fairhaven, I saw these beautiful late summer roses with the blue and white sky behind. It put me into a pensive mood. September is here already, and I'm wondering if I'm ready for  the change that is coming. Fall is my favorite season, and today I noticed the leaves are already beginning to show the first signs of color.

Some of my blogging buddies are mourning the loss of a person I never knew. Penny lived in Australia and was in a car accident and died soon after. She wasn't very old, had three teenaged kids and a full life. Donna wrote a wonderful post this morning about her (Celebrating the Temporary), and she somehow had saved a beautiful piece written by Penny about blogging which she shared. Penny's blog has been removed by her family. It got me to thinking.

Everything is temporary, although we just don't experience life that way. But it is; when you think about the food you ate yesterday that turned into energy that powered you through the day and night. It's gone and turned into something else. The wind I hear outside is bringing changes in the weather and some of the birds are starting their migration south. September is the month of transition from summer to fall.

I walked to the bookstore yesterday and browsed for a new book to read, having just finished the third book in the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy about Lisbeth Salander. These books were published posthumously, since Larsson died suddenly at the age of 50 of a heart attack. He never knew how amazingly popular his books would become. And how much that persona of Lisbeth he created would mean to a whole generation of aging feminists (like me). The books were immensely satisfying, and I don't usually read crime novels. They do, however, portray a very smart woman who learns to use her skills to overcome monumental obstacles.

The book I ended up with is one I read many years ago: To Kill a Mockingbird. From this Wikipedia link:
One critic explains the novel's impact by writing, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."
Although I read that book a long time ago, and I remember how much I was impacted by the character of Atticus Finch, I remember very little about the book, the way it was written, or much about how events unfolded. It's a little scary, realizing that I also saw the movie long ago and can see Gregory Peck's face when I think of Atticus. (He was brilliant in the role and won an Academy Award for it.) Somehow, though, not much of it is remembered, and I want to see what I think of it today.

Today I'll settle into my recliner in the afternoon, listen with one ear to the birds and the wind, and celebrate the temporary. Since it's a Sunday, I did think about the possibility of heading down to Snohomish and getting my knees in the breeze, but the unsettled weather and the genuine lack of real desire will keep me from heading down. That also shows how much I've changed: although I truly enjoy the activity of skydiving, the fact that I banged my knee pretty hard on last Thursday's hike gives me pause when I consider flying and landing my parachute. I am in pretty good shape for being almost 68, but still...

No, a good book and a walk to the bay in the morning should be just right. I hope you will have a wonderful Sunday and will consider appreciating the moment.


Gigi said...

Enjoy your quiet Sunday, Djan! And I think you will enjoy To Kill A Mockingbird all over again. I just re-read it not too long ago; it's a fabulous book. Although, I don't think I ever saw the movie - it's still powerful.

Norma Jean said...

I just read in the AARP newsletter that the book To Kill a Mockingbird is on the banned list for being "socially offensive". I wish "do-gooders" would just keep their noses out of other people's business. There are 50 books on the list, including Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

Unfortunately there are a lot of young people that will never get to enjoy some of the greatest books because someone deemed them "offensive"!

Jo said...

I would say you are in pretty good shape both physicially and intellectually. And yes, the nature of life is that it is temporary. That's why we must enjoy today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet. So many people live in the past or the future, and have lost the ability to appreciate the gift they are given, which is today.

And, Gregory Peck was the ultimate Atticus Finch, wasn't he? It was the role he was born to play.

Whitney Lee said...

I feel like I'm daily thrust into appreciation of the temporary. When dealing with children everything becomes temporary. It does seem that loss and change are creeping up with much more frequency lately. Either that or I've become more aware. I am praying that we all accept these losses and changes with strength and perseverance.

I hope you enjoyed your afternoon:)

Stella Jones said...

Oh! I'm so pleased you read all those books. I finished the last one while I was in America in June and loved them all. I'm not a lover of blood and gore but these books had me hooked, like almost everyone else. The film of the 2nd book is now out in the U.K. and I may go to see it if I'm feeling daring. I saw the first film, which was great but very graphic, as you know and since I've read the book, I know what's coming in the 2nd film. I have to say that I much preferred the book covers on the ones we have over here. I was so disappointed with the covers in the U.S. Whatever were they thinking, putting such nondescript covers on such excellent books.
I also love 'To kill a mocking bird'. Little did I know, when I first saw that film over here, all those years ago, that one day I would be living over there and experiencing that place for myself! As you say, life is extraordinary, temporary, wonderful and we do well to appreciate every minute of it, don't we.
Enjoy the book and be sure to give us your comments on it. How has it travelled through the years?
Blessings, Star

Fickle Cattle said...

I loved "To Kill a Mockingbird". I actually cut class just so I could finish it. I cried buckets.