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 6, 2020


I took this picture yesterday while on a walk in the neighborhood. I was attracted to that pretty white bloom and then enchanted by the lovely pink color of the others. It's a really special time of the year for me, the end of summer and the beginning of fall. And this is the Sunday sandwiching the three-day holiday of Labor Day here in the US. The unofficial end of summer, with the days growing shorter and the nights longer, heading towards the Autumnal Equinox on September 22, just a little more than two weeks away.

Many people don't like the winter months and relish summer, but I'm definitely a fan of the two seasons that transition from one to another. There's a bittersweet feeling in these gorgeous fall days, because you know what's coming. This year is especially fraught for many of us as the pandemic continues to disrupt our activities, and the upcoming election season as well. It's a reminder that the world is at a crossroads between what has been, and what the coming months will bring. Many people I know are experiencing stress and have few ways to cope with it. I feel fortunate to have beautiful places to walk and hike in, as well as yoga via Zoom, which I am currently enjoying three times a week. It helps so much. And I have my friends at the coffee shop, where we sit outside and drink coffee together in our lawn chairs. I don't know when, if ever, we will be able to gather inside again. It doesn't look like it will be soon, and the weather will become a factor to consider.

One thing that has saddened me lately is the loss of Chadwick Boseman, a gifted actor who played T'Challa in Black Panther. I watched the movie last year, on my iPad, and yesterday I decided to watch it again, out of respect for Boseman, and because I remembered I'd enjoyed it before. It does sometimes amaze me how much I forget about movies I've seen before; it was like the first time, and once again I was so impressed with how wonderful the movie was, in every way. I'm not a Marvel fan, usually, but that particular movie is very special. I knew it is the first Marvel movie to win an Academy Award, and it deserved every accolade it received. The magical world of Wakanda again brought tears to my eyes, thinking of how much today's world needs a place like that to aspire to.

Chadwick Boseman was only 43 years old when he died of colon cancer last month, which is on the rise in young people, for some reason nobody understands. He didn't tell anyone outside of his family about his struggle, and in watching the movie, I can hardly believe that beautiful man would be leaving soon, and that he was probably suffering greatly and in silence. He embodied the King so perfectly that I cannot imagine anybody else playing the role. Charles Carter is the person who first told Boseman he would be playing T'Challa. Carter was a bodyguard who met Boseman in Australia during the filming of another movie, and they hit it off. Carter had been a fan of comic books since he was a child and once he went home, he found his 1977 comic book about Black Panther and sent it to Boseman with a note that said, "You're going to get this role." How prescient was that? Boseman sent Carter a ticket to the premier of the movie. That was the last time Carter saw him.
No-one else can be the Black Panther now. Wakanda can live, but not King T'Challa. Writers should think of developing other leads, strong women, strong people of colour. Not replace Chadwick Boseman, because that is not possible. —Charles Carter
 I am sad that such a good person would be taken from us way too early. And that others, like me, continue to live into our late seventies. There is no justice to the way the world works. It's not up to me to decide when it will be my time, but I sure wish Chadwick Boseman could have lived to continue to light up the lives of many of us. That said, I am grateful that I got to appreciate him in his many screen roles. I'll also watch him as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. All those movies are available on my laptop. Chadwick Boseman was a good person.
The only difference between a hero and the villain is that the villain chooses to use that power in a way that is selfish and hurts other people. —Chadwick Boseman
As I sit here in the dark, tapping away on my laptop, another good person lies next to me, my dear life partner, who is recovering slowly but surely from his stroke four weeks ago today. The stroke damaged his insula, a little understood part of the cerebral cortex. It's thought to be the center for self-awareness and the integration of external stimuli and internal interpretation. I see him looking at the world through new eyes, and learning how to deal with an influx of emotions that he had buried deep inside himself. I have to say I really admire and love seeing the way he is dealing with it all. I thought I loved him a lot before, but now I love him even more. How fortunate I am to share my life with him.

There's a lot of good in the world, and we just need to focus on it, rather than on the dark underbelly of the news that permeates our TV screens. I know it's hard, but it's definitely possible. I intend to spend my days spreading kindness and love, and it sure makes me feel better and might actually make a tiny difference in my own little part of the world. Today I'll spend the first part of my day at the coffee shop with my buddies, and then go for a nice walk with my friend Melanie along the Interurban Trail. It's a plan!

I do hope you will have a good week ahead, and if you haven't yet seen the movie, spend a little time watching Black Panther. It's got some violence in it, but a very happy ending, which is what we are all hoping for. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.


Marie Smith said...

It is good to hear of your husband’s continued progress.

I love the early part of autumn since I retired. However, November always brings winter so we have to enjoy September and October weather for sure.

ApacheDug said...

As always, very much enjoyed this week’s column DJan. After 20 consecutive days of 90F weather (and higher) here in Pittsburgh, we are more than ready for Fall. I liked your analogy of the seasons just not changing soon but the world too... It’s why I appreciate yours (and others) thoughtful words more than usual now, they give me pause to reflect on things.

Also appreciated your dear tribute to Chadwick Boseman. I’m going to be honest and admit I wasn’t as big a fan of ‘Black Panther’ as I thought I’d be, but I was fortunate to see ‘Get on Up’ at the theater 5-6 years ago (his biopic of James Brown) and he literally astounded the audience. It’s rare to see moviegoers applause but we sure did here! He really was a giant talent... what a loss for all of us. Well, I sure hope your week ahead is a positive one, DJan.

gigi-hawaii said...

That Chadwick must have made a deep impression on many people, because he is being praised everywhere. I don't watch many movies, so I did not know who he was. Now, I do.

Linda Reeder said...

I had no interest in seeing "Black Panther" but you may have changed my mind. I confess I knew nothing about Chadwick Boseman except that his death apparently shocked and hit many people very hard.
You speak of two good men in your post. I'm glad to hear that your very own good man is doing well with his recovery.
I am always sad to see summer go. Tomorrow, Labor Day, I'll go over to the marina and record the sun going down on summer. And then the next day summer will return with sunny warm - hot! - days. I'll hang on to summer.
Thanks for another good Sunday morning post.

Rian said...

DJan, I didn't realize that the white flower was a Dahlia. It's really beautiful. As for Fall, I like it second best to Spring... guess the changing of the seasons from harsh (hot or cold) to mellow is soothing. I do love when the lawns around here are covered with golden leaves!
As for the Black Panther movie, we've not seen it, but possibly will now that you've recommended it. We recently watched and enjoyed "The Peanut Butter Falcon" after someone recommended it on a post recently.

Elephant's Child said...

I always look forward to your Sunday Posts - and this is no exception.
Spreading kindness and love is a wonderful aim - and I am thrilled to hear that SG is doing so well.

Gigi said...

I, for one, always feel you spreading your kindness and love when I read your posts or comments!

I am so very happy to hear of SG's progress. The love you have for him shines through the screen every time you mention him.

Have a great week, DJan!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have not seen that movie or the others either...I know I live under a rock sometimes:) Good to hear Smart Guy is getting better little by little! You both have a wonderful week!:)

The Furry Gnome said...

Have a good week and I'll try to as well!

Arkansas Patti said...

Now I am kind of sorry I didn't see Black Panther when the networks showed it recently. If I get another chance, I will thanks to your nudge.
I am a cool to cold weather person so I am craving lower temperatures. Winter is fine by me.
Glad SG is doing better but sorry he is having to make the adjustments. You are both lucky to have eachother.

Trish MacGregor said...

I was also saddened by his death. Loved the movie and he seemed like such a good man.

Red said...

We have to concentrate on the positive but we also have to recognize and support the correct and accurate that we encounter.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

So happy to learn your loved one is improving. I finally managed to post after months. It is hard when vision becomes so weak.

Junk Journal Penpals said...

So good to hear that Smart Guy is doing well. Yes, it behaves us all to dwell on the good things in life at the moment and not succumb to the gloom and misery around us :)

Anvilcloud said...

This is pretty upbeat post. Everyone loves autumn, but it is so doggone brief and it leads to a very long winter here in Ontario. I don't mind winter either but wish it would stay sooo long.Come February I am ready for winter to abate, but we still have a long way togo.

I haven't seen Black Panther, but everyone who has seems to love it.

Have a good week.

Linda Myers said...

You sound grateful. I'll put Black Panther on my viewing list.

Coming home this weekend. It has been over 100 degrees for the last month here in Tucson. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather, and even the longer shadows.

Glenda Beall said...

I haven't seen Black Panther since I don't usually like the super hero comic figures, but your recommendation and one by my sister makes me want to see it now. Sounds like Chadwick Boseman was a special man who was not only a great actor, but a very good person. Sad that we lost him so early in his life.
I am very happy that SG is improving well. I am still too hot here in the mountains of NC. We will have high 80s today, but I took Lexie for a walk earlier this morning and it was in the 70s. Can't wait for cool weather!

Dee said...

Dear DJan, first, It's so good to learn that your husband is doing well. I can imagine that your heart is inundated with so many memories of your life with him and that those memories bring gratitude that will take the two of you forward.

Second, thank you for writing about Chadwick Boseman. I'm not much of a movie goer and so I miss the emergence and rise and careers of so many fine actors. I'll try to get his movies as DVDs from our library. Peace.

Friko said...

I really must make an effort to see more movies; I only ever watch movies now when they come on TV and I have nothing better to do. I don’t know when I last went to a movie theatre.

Like you I am trying to concentrate on the less harrowing aspects of life as it currently goes. What goes on in the world is just too enormous and I would be permanently depressed if I let it take over all of my hours.

Glad to hear SG is getting better day by day.

Margaret said...

I loved "Black Panther" and was shocked that he could keep his health struggles private. What a huge loss to his loved ones and to his fans. I can't handle too much of the news these days. Too discouraging and frightening. Glad your partner is improving and finding new ways to live his life.

Rita said...

So very glad SmartGuy is doing well. That love and appreciation is the highlight of your post.

I enjoyed Black Panther, too. Quite a shock when people die so young.

We have freeze warnings here for a few days--record lows--and yet there are record high temps in California. More unusualness for this year of 2020. ;)

William Kendall said...

It was certainly a shock to hear about Chadwick Boseman's death.

Galen Pearl said...

You know more than most the sadness and shock of a life taken too young. I suspect that your experience has given you a special depth of compassion and caring about such loss. I appreciate your reflections and I will watch the movie again for sure.