Last night I watched Julie and Julia for inspiration. I've seen this movie many times, but with the birth of my own blog, I studied it with new eyes. Anyone who aspires to write can't help but be both elated and nauseauted by the scene where Amy Adams' character receives 65 phone messages from publishers/literary agents/editors begging her to work with them.
My first thought was that our phone doesn't have an answering machine. So if this blog were to suddenly go viral - say for example, if during my travels I had the good fortune to stumble upon a wise cracking infant and the foresight to video tape her shouting "Step off" to anyone who approached her chubby cheeks in the frozen foods - and if I were to post that video on this blog and the phone were to ring 65 times while I was out combing the stores for other babies, I would never know.
Seriously though, I take my hat off to the real Julie. Has anyone ever tried to read Mastering the Art of French Cooking? It's like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel. If you want to make a raspberry Bavarian cream, you have to flip backwards to find out how to make orange Bavarian cream, and in order to make orange Bavarian cream, you have to flip back to read about how to impregnate the large sugar lumps with orange oil. It's insanity. So kudos to Julie for cracking the code.
But it's Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child, her joie de vivre for life, that really makes this film sing. She luxuriates in every bite of food. Savors every sip of wine and drag from a cigarette. And it reminds me of a poem by Mary Oliver called "The Plum Trees". Here is my favorite part:
Joy is a taste before it's anything else,
and the body can lounge for hours devouring
the important moments. Listen,
the only way
to tempt happiness into your mind is by taking it
into the body first, like small
And no matter how many times I watch this film, I weep when Julia Child finally opens the package containing her book. Her gratitude and sense of accomplishment overwhelm me as does the song by Margaret Whiting swelling in the background: "Time after time, you'll hear me say that I'm, so lucky to be loving you."
And so, with visions of warm brie still dancing in my head, I will end with the beginning of a story (as promised). A tale of a restauranteur with a twist. Feel free to pick up where I leave off and share what your imagination feeds you.
I realized early on that no one would know if I dipped a finger in the pot of mashed potatoes. I only had to mold them back together. Neither would they know that some part of me had become part of them. And it wasn't long before there was a line of people snaking out the door for dinner service. Each one craving some missing ingredient in their lives: an eyelash or a bit of scab - a longing which instinctively led them back to me...