In a sudden, it occurs to me to watch Under the Tuscan Sun again.
I haven’t watched the movie for ages.
Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.
Frances Mayes, an American writer, goes to Tuscany, Italy for a ten-day trip which her good female friend offers her a special gift after her divorce.
It’s market day in Cortona. The piazza is an ongoing party and everyone is invited. Cliches converge at this navel of the world. You almost want to laugh, but you can’t help feeling these Italians know more about fun than we do. I eat a hot grape from the market and the violet sweetness breaks open in my mouth. It even smells purple. I wish I could stay longer but the bell reminds me of the time. “Ding-dang-dong” goes the bell.
Frances buys Bramasole in Cortona, a house rather run-down but redeemable.
I have inherited 10,000 empty wine bottles, one grape, every issue of “La Nazione” printed in 1958 and assorted previous tenants ( bugs, spiders…).
There is always a man walking on the crutch and passing by beneath her balcony to give the flowers to the bust on the wall.
Every day I watch for the old man with the flowers. And I wonder, was he born here? Did he love someone here? Did he lose someone here?
He ignores each time she waves to him.
He doesn’t seem as curious about me but that’s all right.
She regrets to have bought an old house in a foreign country for a time. The thunder, the storm, the snake, etc. She feels alone.
I want a wedding in this house and I want a family in this house.
Her requirements are simple, should not be difficult to reach. However, at the moment, there is no sign to thrive. Then she is told a story:
Between Austria and Italy there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew the train would come. A train track through the Alps before there was a train.
I would rather believe it than question its authenticity, such as how did they know the size of a train when built the track before the existence of a train…
Her close friend, Patti, comes to turn to her because she was broken up. Frances comfort her:
You are going to deliver the baby in a hospital gown designed by Armani.
At last, Patti forgot her pain and becomes a happy mother.
In Italian, the literal translation of “to give birth”, “dare alla luce” is to give to the light.
What a gorgeous expression, full of hope!
The old man with the flowers, his attitude to her is from indifference to smiling and knocking his hat gently as a salute sign.
The water faucet, rusty for decades, at first drips and then pours.
All of these make her surprised and excited.
L’ ancore e’ cieco—Love is blind.
But finally she got her wish, got everything that she asked for:
A wedding couple in her garden, a family with mother and son.
Moreover, she finds her true love.
Unthinkably good thing can happen, even late in the game. It’s such a surprise.
That is one of my favorite movies, to touch and encourage me. And I cannot fail to mention the beautiful scenes in it.
Past is history;
Present is gift;
And future is mystery.
Tomorrow is another day, especially the day after tomorrow, to me.