Sunday, May 23, 2010
In the garden, the delphiniums were in flower. Through scented twilight the girl in the white dress walked with a step as light as a cobweb. That evening, she hadn't a care in the world.
Mrs. Delahunty, My House in Umbria
Mrs. Delahunty: I may be dead next month. The moon may have crashed into the earth. Who knows what dreadful things may come to pass? But at the moment, I'm happy. What else matters?
Colonal: Carpe Diem
Mrs. Delahunty: I'm never really sure just what that means.
Colonal: Oh. Seize the day. Embrace the present. Enjoy life while you've got the chance.
Mrs. Delahunty: Carpe Diem. I'll remember that.
My House in Umbria~~~~~~
Lately, I am aware that I have to do just that, carpe diem, because everything seems to have a feeling of impermanence. Not in a dark somber way but in the way that you feel that some thing's moving, some thing's changing.
I wonder what it is about life that after you hit a certain age, you wake up with memories of people and places that you haven't thought about in a long time. And fragments of youth-inspired dreams come back to your mind with a strong force. When I was a teen, I wanted to travel to Europe, and I did. I think my early obsession with travel was connected to my romance novel addiction. The love story inclination was left in the past, while the enjoyment of other lands and people remained.
I think that's why I love Maggie Smith in My House in Umbria. She's a writer of romance novels who has a calling to help people. She quirkily entertains us by her thriving imagination about the people who stay with her after they all are involved in a train explosion. (I wanted to post a link here but it's difficult to find a positive evaluation- to many spoilers. ) Nevertheless, I love the movie and the character that Maggie Smith plays, Mrs. Emily Delahunty- who has many other delightful nom de plumes.
The movie is set in Italy and if you can watch it and not yearn for travel to Italy, you are a strong person. It has magical views and entertaining cultural moments. If you are having an Italian themed movie night, you might rent Under the Tuscan Sun or go out to see Letters to Juliet. Both of these movies will make you feel as though you have been in Italy -or that it's essential for you to go there now!
I have read the memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes), and found it to be richly satisfying-and NOT A ROMANCE. I loaned this book to a close friend who found it tedious with detail about the Italian countryside, garden restorations and house renovations. However, I like these boring details of ordinary life. I like to see how people make decisions and what occupies their time. I'm interested in both real and spruced up life. (A little magic making fantasy is fine with me.) Another popular book that has an enchanting section on an extended vacation in Italy is Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. Did you know that Julie Roberts is going to play Gilbert in the movie? (Scheduled to be released in August.) There is another saturate-yourself-in=Italy movie that I have already mentioned in previous blogs, Enchanted April, which documents a life transforming month in an Italian Medieval castle. Gorgeous scenery! If you want to explore Italy this summer, or imagine yourself there in real life, try Rick Steves' link to travel.
As for myself, I plan to stay in Puerto Rico, cook vegetarian lasagna, solve concrete everyday problems and at every moment-carpe diem! If that doesn't excite, think about my lovely gardenia bush that finally bloomed after three years of waiting, hoping, and supplementing with coffee grounds. Finally, it has a fragrant white bloom! Maybe it foretells of positive moments yet to come? ~~~~~~~~