We arrive in Geggiano on one of those starless evenings in November when it could be the middle of the night, but is actually just 6 pm. I’m traveling with my sister Isadora, and her partner, Michele. We’ve driven south from Florence (where we dropped off our cousin Jessica at the airport and picked up Michele) into the hills outside of Siena in Tuscany.
I love that you found yourself in your 17 year old fantasy and recognized how much you have grown since then. Yes, there is privilege in the world. Everyone has it in some way, shape or form. The fact that you are sharing your experience with us is amazing. One of the magical things about people sharing their personal experience, privileged or not, is that we recognize ourselves in the story. Whether it's a common wish or goal, a little envy, or just learning about an experience completely foreign to us, that's valuable. I'm happy that you are getting a break, that you are getting rest, that you are reconnecting with what's important to you. Everyone deserves that. I've always known you for being authentic and that comes through in your writing. Please keep sharing your writing with us, and my hope for you is that this international experience will allow you to live out some of your dreams, connect with the things that give you life and energy, and that you walk away from the experience with new dreams and a zest for what is available to you in the future.
who the fuck has a story arc in their blog post!?!? thanks for taking us on your whirlwind, your whiplash, your river cruise. with you 100%, just want more.
Hi Belle - I’m one of your dad’s plant growing friends. Re Gilbert, I had that same reaction to Eat Pray Love Barf! However her novel The Signature of All Things was a welcome corrective. That wonderful writing and a much more interesting read It helped me to forgive her.
I so enjoyed your post - the marvel of the place, the coincidence and your re-visioning of the Bertolucci movie from your youth.
Brava Baby Belle---the name I first knew you by oh-so-many-years ago. I love that you wrote this and it gave me much pleasure on several front: 1) your reflective voice going backwards and then to now and back again....and the wisdom you are getting from the whiplash 2) Tuscany. Howie and I fell in love with that tiny corner of the world when we visited years ago and had magical experiences that I'd love to share with you someday (they will never be forgotten.) We were there in May of 2001 and everything was in bloom--fields of red poppies amidst the green grasses and other wildflowers. 3) Rest--ah yes. time out every week...appreciating this invention more and more as I age. 4) your photos and how they capture the magic and finally 5) your uncensored (mostly) and authentic sharing of yourself. What a generous woman you are to give us a bit of an insight into what's happening with you this special year. I have a few other things to communicate with you but will write you privately using your email address. lots of love and big hugs.
Brilliant. Write more often.
Belle, this is beautiful. Your openness and honesty -- and your writing skill -- are captivating. I loved Eat Pray Love. Gilbert was indeed privileged, but she was on a voyage of self-discovery and I felt it was written for herself, not for an audience. The focus on 'me' was the whole point.
I am enjoying your journey, and thank you for taking me with you. And the photos are outstanding --so beautiful! Enjoy every moment.
Yes! For the record, to add to the list, I loved Eat Pray Love. Yes, there’s privilege AND the act of living honesty as who you are where you are how you are is so vulnerable and gross feeling sometimes that it is the secret ingredient that makes that honest awkward sauce that pushes us to evolve. So go Belle! No revolution ever succeeded because the people shrank. Get juicy and big and weird like Liv Tyler’s mouth and let’s see what happens!
Our beloved Barb had a saying, complete with sound effects, that fits here. "Put that guilt in the shredder." We used it often. Never go down the rabbit hole of Internet trolls, even if you agree with them. People love to pile on and say mean things. I enjoyed that movie back in the day and "Eat, Pray, Love" too, but I looked as both as great adventures. All people have problems, issues, and emotional pain. Regardless of their privilege. People who berate others who happen to have the time and money to share their emotional struggles are missing the point. Struggles are part of the human condition. You can be grateful and still have stuff to deal with. It doesn't help anyone to flagellate yourself for enjoying beauty and peace where you find it. Be fully present. Enjoy your adventure.
Such incredible beauty; such a perspective. Keep writing!! ❤️
From laughing -- more like snorting -- out loud, to pausing to Google an unknown reference, I find these posts so rewarding. I can practically see the Tuscan sunset while also picturing Liv Tyler's hotness and the natural beauty that surrounds you. Enjoy every minute - boring, indulgent, lazy or privileged - I only wish I could enjoy such an experience, and live vicariously through your writing as if I were 🥰.