The book is better than the movie (isn’t that always true?) but the movie is pretty good. I’m talking of course about Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts. The only way that the movie beats the book is that the movie has Javier Bardem in it. And the movie made me hungry in a way that the book never did: as soon as I got home I ordered a pizza, opened a bottle of wine, and listened to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon over and over.
And it got me thinking about eating, praying, and loving in August.
Eat: Food is not really one of my joys in life (us Druids have little interest in cuisine, being as we come from a long line of picky eaters, plus I think one of my ancestors died young from his job as King Ethelred’s official food taster and that has soured all his kin on adventurous eating) but the other day I was seized with a sudden craving for angel food cake. So I made one, all for myself:
Now, if only I could figure out how to bake only the top half of an angel food cake I’d be rich. Or just a person who knew how to bake the most awesome part of an angel food cake.
Love: I love my August garden:
Pray: Us Druids don’t pray, not the way I’ve seen people pray in the movies. We don’t get on our knees, we don’t clasp our hands, we don’t squeeze our eyes shut and quake, and we sure as hell don’t address our pleas to an abstract masculine personification of the Great Spirit. Us Druids , we are literal people. We see the Great Spirit in things:
My Druid prayer, which I have to repeat daily because I’m not a very holy person and not very bright (which most days I forget to do any way) is sent out to the Great Spirit: Please let me see what you are showing me. (The please isn’t in our prayer because us Druids are beggars. It’s there because we are very polite.)
It works every time. Asking for awareness works every time. For instance, last evening I went for a walk to the local library and before I set out I asked the Great Spirit Please let me see something I haven’t seen before on this walk to the library which I’ve done about 500 times already. And I too my camera with me:
(So this is what the last hydrangea of 2010 looks like.)
(No zoom nec. The Great Spirit has a wonderful sense of humor.)
Of course, there are many other ways to bring your measly little, sniveling busy busy whiner self closer to the Great Spirit than by taking a walk to the library. You can take a drive to the grocery store, or do a load of laundry.
And the Great Spirit is capable of heavier lifting than bringing you enlightenment during a household task – in the past I’ve asked it for the impossible and have gotten it. I made a list once. I asked for happiness and I got Top Cat, who I from now on I will refer to as My Own Personal Javier Bardem.
I asked for names for my own tea, and the Great Spirit lent itself to all you clever people and gave me conniptions when it came time to pick a winner. So many great teas: Vanilla Purr (no, nothing is too twee for me) and Pathways Tea, Wanderer’s Reward(apostrophes don’t bother me at all!), Madagascar Sun Set Tea(surprisingly butterfly-like), Wander The World Tea, Done Roaming Tea, Zanzibar Fantasy (me, the sunrise, and Javier Bardem holding a tray of croissants), That Damn Tea, Oolong Island Iced Tea (which, by the way, I like so much I’d drink it hot, too), Bonnes Temps Tea…I want them all. But, there has to be only one winner…
…and the winner is :
Shelley. And her two teas: Restful Roamer and Tranquil Traveler.
I can’t wait to illustrate those teas! I’m thinking of hammocks made of sage and heather, down-filled sandals, pillows the size of steamer trunks, Javier Bardem with a Brazilian accent wearing a turquoise shirt walking towards me on a pier in Bali backlit by the setting sun…
It’s August! It could happen!
What are you going to eat, pray, and love this August weekend with the Great Spirit?
(P.S. There’s a bird in that picture of the black-eyed susans — I didn’t want you to miss that. O, Great Spirit, please let Deborah photograph the black-headed cardinal because I’ve never seen one and damn it, I’m tired of red-headed cardinals already. No offense.)