Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Under the Tuscan Sun (film)Image via Wikipedia
There are so many scenes I love in the movie Under The Tuscan Sun; one of them is what I call Normale, when Francis goes to sign the papers for the house without having ironed out all the financial details and other arrangements that go along with purchasing a new piece of property. The real estate agent simply hands her the key and waves off the paperwork, saying “es normale.” Having had her entire life turned upside down by a nasty divorce, Francis slowly adjusts to what “normale” means for her and by the end of the movie she finally learns that she is the one who determines what “normale” looks like in her life. I love how the word normale is used in such an off-handed, carefree way in the movie, like of course why would it be any other way – go on Francis, it’s only natural that you enjoy your new house and new life.

The phrase I’m sick of hearing and reading is: The New Normal. This conjures something entirely different to me: economic woes, restriction, propaganda, lack, limited thinking, in general all pretty negative stuff. There is nothing carefree about the phrase The New Normal. While I have come face to face with a change in economic circumstances, I don’t want to refer to this period in my life as The New Normal. My reluctance is not about hanging onto the way things were, in fact, many wonderful things have become part of our life as a result of a change in circumstance like regularly eating delicious, home-prepared meals, cherishing time with friends and family, and taking advantage of the many events and activities available in our valley. I dislike the phrase, The New Normal, largely because it implies finite possibilities while normale, as it’s used in the movie, implies the opposite.

One of the things I hope to accomplish with this blog is to sort out what normale means for me. How to be more carefree, follow my intuition, my heart and be open to the many possibilities and opportunities that are everywhere. Es normale, no?

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  1. Wow, I love so many things about this post. I know what you are talking about in the movie and I love that scene at the house closing and the Italian girl with all her gold bracelets and gorgeousness says that. I LOVE THAT MOVIE! There are so many great messages in the entire film. And you are the first person I've heard that's pointed that out and observed it so well.

    I see what you mean about the new normal. It's a phrase imposed on us that creeps into the lexicon and becomes, well...."normal" and you rightly point out that it is not. So insightful! Normal is what you make it and how you deal with things, normal is not being a perpetual victim. Thanks for making my day!

  2. Exactly. I believe in every moment we have a choice. The trick is to make choices that align with our true selves, just as Francis did. Granted, that's not always easy or obvious. I think this new normal thing is a media message, whether overt or covert, used to manage the expectations of a targeted audience. I'll call their bluff. This time I'm playing the game according to my own rules. Thanks for the link to Parisienne Farmgirl. Her post and your comments are very much in line with my thoughts about using one's common sense and taking responsibiltiy for personal health and well-being.

  3. This is one of my favorite movies, I can watch it over and over and never tire. And I'm with Stephanie... those gorgeous gold bracelets almost make the scene.
    In Provence, they say normale too :-)

  4. This is one of my absolute favorite movies! One of my favorite parts is when she is talking to the man about how they have the saying "Love is blind" too, and he points out that everyone has that saying because it's true everywhere.

    Anyway, I agree with you that in every moment we have a choice. I choose to ignore that we're just supposed to settle for what we're told is normal. Forget that, I make my own normal! It's only when we can imagine a better future can we begin to reach for it.

  5. Great perspective. Such a wonderful movie.

    I'm sure to watch it at least once or twice during the next few months -my daughter is getting married in Itatly next spring - I can't wait to see the beautiful countryside, villas, etc.

    Thanks for stopping by my 'August' post and taking time to leave a little note. Rita

  6. This is my pick my up...feel good movie. I listen to the soundtrack all the time and just love it!!!

    Jeanne :)