Saturday, July 23, 2011

Of Tuscany and beyond

Life in Chicagoland has been steamy of late. So today, instead of doing chores around the house - a place that doesn't much get below 80 degrees indoors these days - I reclined on the sofa and watched "Under the Tuscan Sun".

Let me preface my remarks by saying, I love this film. It's beautifully shot, and Diane Lane is simply a treasure.

During the early days of My Divorce, I watched two films that gave me hope while simultaneously making me feel like a total sap. The first was "Calendar Girls". Watching these beautiful, aging women discover their beauty made me believe it could happen, and want it for myself. Perhaps, subconsciously, that movie is what drove me to the gym four years ago. The second, as you've likely guessed by now, was "Under the Tuscan Sun".

I love that movie, and I loved it then, too. It was beautiful for me, in those early days, to watch someone go through divorce and come out on the other side. But one line - just one line - made it completely unrealistic to me.

Frances, the lead character, says, "Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It's such a surprise."

I watched, thinking to myself that this character I loved, this pillar of strength, actually ended the film a simpering idiot. But then, time passed. Bitterness faded. (Though I still wish He Who Must Not Be Named and Judy the Ho would get a mad case of crabs.) And somehow, miraculously, unthinkably good things began to happen.

My life found its way back to me.

Today, I've padded around my little (warm!) one-bedroom walkup in bare feet, loving the cool feeling of the wood beneath them. I've run (on a treadmill), loving the feeling of one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, doing something I did not, even one year ago, know I could do. I've done bicep curls until my muscles cried, and I've done push-ups from my toes. Tonight, I will spend my evening surrounded by girlfriends ... none of whom I even knew the first time I saw "Tuscan".

So what if things didn't turn out the way I'd planned? The truth is ... I simply didn't plan big enough. Unthinkably good things, indeed.


Michelle said...

Fabulous! I love this. If we allow goodness into our lives and refuse to stay shut in anger or bitterness, that goodness comes. Its just does.
I love that movie too. Maybe we should dream even bigger and plan a Tuscan vacation one day. I adore the idea of Tuscany, wine, food and friends!

Maggie said...

You are so kind, Michelle. Life is indeed good. I'd love to jet off to Tuscany sometime! Shall we find a lovely Italian 5K to enter? Gotta work off all that pasta and wine somehow, right?

Michelle said...

If my STUPID itbs would co-operate, I'd be delighted to run a 5k in Italy or around the corner. But damn it, it still hurts and hurts pretty bad at times :( But, as I was saying-- no staying locked in bitter. Just gotta focus on all the other things I can do and work through it to whatever conclusion. Regardless, I'm going to start dreaming about Tuscany!