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, February 28, 2021

Over the rainbow

Emerging crocus

I saw this precious early sign of spring to come while out walking in my neighborhood. Not only the crocus, but all the budding green shoots filled my heart with happiness. We made it through yet another winter, this one especially hard because of the pandemic. Better times are ahead.

As I have heard many times lately, and I hope it's true, the most difficult part of the worldwide pandemic is behind us. Perhaps that's why a couple of nights ago I had the most wonderful dream, filled with light and laughter, and a character from my past: the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. Why did he appear in my dream, and what is the message I took from him? I remembered his "roar," a little whiff that makes me smile just to think of it.

I decided to find the entire movie and watch it again. Unfortunately, it's not streaming on any of my current apps at the moment, so I ended up joining HBO Max in order to watch it at home. I had been contemplating signing up for it anyway, since several studios are releasing this year's movies on the video app. Although it will be awhile before I can see myself walking into my favorite movie theater, I'll now be able to see them all before the awards season starts in earnest.

My father used to tell the story of the time he took my sister Norma Jean and me to the theater to see the movie. We were so scared, he said, about the tornado at the beginning, and I suspect also the witch, we climbed under the seats and cried until he took us out of the theater. I remembered the transition from sepia to technicolor very well, especially the ruby slippers and how gorgeous they looked to my young eyes.

My adult self watched the entire movie and took away so much that I had forgotten. Yes, I've seen it several times over the years, but yesterday it was a completely new story for me, with all the characters bringing up various emotions. And questions that never occurred to me before were: what happened to Dorothy's parents? Was she dreaming the entire story or did she actually go to Oz? Suffice it to say, I loved it when I re-watched it considering our current worldwide woes, and it gave me a bit of hope for the future. And I once again realized that the movie is truly a masterpiece.

I'm curious as to why the Cowardly Lion was so present in my dream, and I wonder what he personifies in my life today. Bert Lahr's performance was wonderful, and I laughed at his antics once again ("put 'em up, put 'em up"), at his comical tears and smiled at his willingness to work through his cowardice to stand up for Dorothy. There was also much more humor in the movie than I remembered from previous viewings.

I didn't realize until reading about the movie, how it was filmed and all the actors who were considered for the various parts, that it was based on a book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by Frank Baum in May 1900. It's been reissued many times since, and perhaps it would be useful to find a copy and read it today. Perhaps I'd find out what happened to her parents.

Obviously, a movie made in 1939 no longer has anybody still alive who was part of the phenomenon that it became. We are left with a delightful artifact from that period in history, and I know I will want to watch it at least once more before I myself head over the rainbow. To me, that is what the rainbow represents: leaving the world of the living and heading off to where the bluebirds fly.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high 

Today I might spend some time looking at my new HBO Max app and maybe even settle in for a nice revisit of another movie that I remember from long ago, or even a new one. If the weather cooperates, I might even head out for a nice walk and see if those crocus flowers are still there two days later. At this time of the year, our environment changes in the blink of an eye. Yesterday, when I was walking with my friend Melanie, we saw some daffodils just ready to bloom, and on the way back an hour later, some had already opened in the full sunshine.

And what, my dear online friends, will you do with this wonderful irreplaceable day that we have ahead? I know some of you will already have experienced the day, since I'm over on the west coast of the US and many of you are even already into the next cycle. It always amazes me when I open my reader and see that it's already the next day over in Australia. So, whatever part of the cycle you are in, I hope it's a good one, and that you will spend at least part of it with your loved companions.

My tea is gone, my dear partner still sleeps next to me, and I am now ready to start the rest of my Sunday. By the time I visit with you again next week, I hope I will have received the first of two vaccine shots. It's been tough getting an appointment, and I won't actually believe it until it's behind me, but I think this will be the week when it happens. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things, dear friends.


Marie Smith said...

I like your idea of the afterlife as over the rainbow. The characters show the human struggles but the reward is the same for those who choose to see.

I hope you can get the vaccine this week. It looks like the process is well underway in the U S.

Marty said...

A relative is poised at the rainbow this weekend, and this post is a gentle reminder to me to appreciate what I have on this side of it.

Anvilcloud said...

Third try to comment.

Rian said...

DJan, I sure hope you are able to get your Covid vaccine this week. It seems like more and more places are opening up. You asked what some of us were doing with this day? As for myself I just made a batch of steamed cabbage with caramelized purple onion and bacon! (been craving this all week) And although it's been a rainy weekend, after the recent Artic weather, it's more than welcome. And tomorrow is March 1st! Can you believe? Don't forget to say "Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!"

ApacheDug said...

I always post lengthy comments on here, made a promise to myself I wouldn’t today—but I enjoyed reading this so much I just might. DJan, just loved what you wrote about ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It’s my all-time favorite movie (as I’m sure it is for many) and I own it on 2 different anniversary dvds with a slew of documentaries, earlier versions of the movie made in the 1900s & 1920s (scary looking things), how they made Dorothy’s cyclone in the 1939 movie, oh so much... technology was so limited then, do you know how they did the transition in the movie from black & white to color? You would think they used 2 cameras and spliced the film—nope. They made a duplicate set of Dorothy’s fallen house & a double of Judy (we just see her from the back as she races to the front door) all painted in sepia tones... to make the transition to color as quickly as possible with Judy Garland right outside. I always found that hard to believe, but it’s just what they did.

I feel like we’re on the same wavelength, with your recent purchase of HBO Max as I did something very similar last night. I was watching a short youtube presentation about ‘CBS Access’ becoming ‘Paramount Plus’ on March 4. The more I saw, the more I liked. They’re going to have a library of 2,500 movies and release of new movies 30 days after they land in theaters. They have 3 new Star Trek series, soon to be 4. New shows of personal favorites like The Twilight Zone, The Good Fight and now Frasier. What made it more remarkable, it’s 4.99 a month (if you allow limited ads) but If you buy an annual package before March 4, it’s 50% off. So I paid $29.99 last night for an entire year. I’m canceling my Netflix after this billing cycle is over, if this new streaming service is as good as what I’ve heard.

Well, I blew it with my short comment promise. As always, I loved the photo at the top of that emerging crocus, and I hope your spring continues to bloom in the week ahead!

Arkansas Patti said...

Like your "over the rainbow" reference. Kind of fits in with we animal lovers who feel their animals have crossed the "rainbow bridge" and we will be together once more.
I was thinking the other day how you usually have seen all the oscar nominations in the theater before the event. Hope you find a way to at least see them all this year.

Elephant's Child said...

It is early on March the first here. You saw the first crocus of the season and yesterday I ordered some (and other things too of course) for our spring display. Which when I think about it is a testament to hope.
I hope your day/week/month brings you lots of wonder and joy.

gigi-hawaii said...

This is a really good post about the movie. I might watch it again myself, since we have HBO Max too. I had my shot yesterday. No side effects whatsoever.

Susan Sawatzky said...

Jan, you might enjoy this site: https://www.roycroftcampuscorporation.com/product/the-wonderful-wizard-of-oz/

My grandparents lived in East Aurora, NY and L. Frank Baum and the Oz books, of which there are more, are something I remember with great fondness. My grandmother used to take us to the Roycroft shop when we were little. It was a wondrous place as my childhood memory recalls.

Linda Reeder said...

Good morning, although I guess it will be afternoon by the time I hit "Publish".
We got our second Covid shot yesterday and we are both achy today. Of course we are kind of achy every day. :-)
We got our weekly grocery shopping done this morning, the cart holding me up. I'll try to get out for a bit of a walk this afternoon and I plan to watch the Golden Globes later.
I was never a big fan of The Wizard of Oz, but I have seen much of it in bits and pieces as it has been on television over the years. I'm sure I have watched the whole thing several times. I do love the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Far Side of Fifty said...


Have you heard Iz? Worth a watch on you tube.

I love the Wizard of oz we used to watch it on Thanksgiving Night usually watching it around my grandparents tv until we were summoned for the ride home that took at least 30 minutes out of the movie but as soon as we got home we turned our tv back on!

I guess I never wondered about her parents...but I loved her dog!

Good news that you will get your first shot this week! Yeah!!

Tabor said...

Oddly, I have seen the movie several times and also saw a film about its making and am actually a bit weary with it. But that does not mean it wasn't a marvelous movie. I also read the book. Great characters and perfect for some fun on the big screen. I am sure you know there was a follow-up version done by Michael Jackson. I have not seen that. Glad you are getting your first shot. We are moving into more and more people getting safe!

Gigi said...

I always wondered about Dorothy's parents, too. It's funny that you dreamed about The Cowardly Lion - The Husband just yesterday was doing a hilarious impression of him...he had me laughing so hard.

Yes, I am hopeful that we will put this dreadful virus behind us soon. I'm so happy to hear you have an appointment!

For us it was a very low key, stay at home kind of day. But now, after a dreary (but WARM!) day, the sun is finally peeking out and making it feel like Spring is here. I'm sure we'll have another cold snap before the end of March but I'll enjoy it while it's here.

William Kendall said...

I'll admit, I get why it's an acclaimed film, but I don't like it.

It's the whole musical thing. I hate musicals. :)

Red said...

We certainly see more each time we watch a movie but I think it makes a big difference as you age.

Rita said...

Used to be on e very year and I watched it every time. I had wondered why she lived with her aunt and uncle and what happened to her parents, too. If you find out please post it! Have a wonderful week! :)

Dee said...

Dear DJan, so glad to learn that you will be getting your first vaccine shot this week. I got mine last Monday; the next is March 23. No side effects from the shot except fatigue.

You've prompted me to ask our local library to send me a copy of "The Wizard of Oz." We have the most wonderful library system and for those of us who cannot drive or cannot get to the library easily, there is a service called "Library by Mail." Books, CDs. and DVDs come to me in the mail in a canvas bag. I watch or listen and then send them back in the same bag. I do not need to pay any postage. Several years ago there was something on the ballot about this and the library and it passed overwhelmingly. It's a wonderful service and the librarians have found so many movies for me. I just finished yesterday watching the DVDs for the two movies done of Agatha Christie's famous book "And Then There Were None." One of the movies was done in 1945; the second, in 1965. Both deviated from the classic novel. My viewing preference was the first movie. The second, renamed "Ten Little Indians," was just too caught up with being part of the -60s. Like you, I can remember seeing the first one when I was nine. I never forgot one scene nor the music. Peace.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, This is a neat look back at a movie you’ve enjoyed several times over the years. I can definitely relate to the way you had different takes on different views. I’ve noticed myself doing that, not only with movies, but also with the words to the old hits, from, say, the 60s. :-) A few decades ago I just enjoyed listening to tunes and didn’t really pay that much attention to the lyrics. Now, listening to the lyrics opens up a whole new world of enjoyment. :-) Your photo, at the start, is a beauty. I so appreciate the attention you give to nature. The older I get, the more pleasure I seem to get from nature. Thanks for another excellent Eye on the Edge. Hope you and SG have a fine week. John

Margaret said...

Hope you got your shot! I had my first Pfizer one a few days ago. What a relief to even have one and know that I am somewhat protected. (not that I go very many places, and always am masked when I do) The WoO terrified me as a child; the part where the "witch" is peddling away with Toto and the scary music is playing AND those flying monkeys. An old movie that I'd like to watch is Mary Poppins for some reason.