“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammed
Life Lessons From Under The Tuscan Sun
If you are reading this article I am going to ask you a favor :), please don’t tell anyone that one of my favorite movies is “Under The Tuscan Sun”. If you have not seen it, many would consider it a chick flick 🙂 , but to me it’s a feel good movie with many great lessons. Under The Tuscan Sun is based on Frances Mayes’s 1996 memoir. The film was directed by Audrey Wells and starred Diane Lane.
Plot and Insights I Derived:
Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) is a writer who one assumes has the perfect life. She is successful, happy, and has a great husband. Everything takes an unexpected turn, when a stranger at a book signing suggests to her that her husband has been cheating on her. The stranger was a writer who she had given a bad book review.
Frances is now devastated, can’t write her novel, and is losing her home to her ex and his new fiancée. Patti who is Frances best friend, is worried that she will never recover, so she insists that she take an Italian vacation. The only thing is that it’s a gay tour that Patti and her partner Grace had booked for themselves, but changed plans after Patti became pregnant. Frances is now at a major crossroad in her life and decides to take the plunge into the unknown.
While exploring the center of Italian public life- the Piazza, she finds a listing for an Italian Villa called “Bramasole”. While reading the ad, an expatriate Katherine walks up to her and asks her if she is going to buy it. Frances says no and that it would be a “terrible idea”, Katherine just smiles, says, “don’t you just love those” and walks away.
Now they are back on the tour bus heading to their next destination, the bus comes to a stop when a heard of cows blocks the road. Right when Frances glances up she notices that they have stopped right in front of the old Villa “Bramasole”. Frances takes this as a sign and gets off the bus.
While inside the Villa Frances comes to find that someone is purchasing the home at that exact moment, but then the owner decides to raise the price. Frances end’s up out bidding the other foreigners, but comes to find that it is still too expensive for her to purchase. Right when she’s walking away she get’s droppings on her face from a pigeon that is in the old home. The elderly Italian woman who is selling the Villa exclaims that it’s a sign from god and decides to sell her the home.
What signs have you had in your life? Did you take action? What was the outcome?
(write any crazy signs you had in your life and their lesson in the comments section)
Initially Frances has buyer’s remorse; she feels she made a mistake because her decision was illogical. She comes to terms that she cannot return home and decides to make it work. She hires a group of polish construction workers to help her make Bramasole her dream home.
Going into unknown experiences, ones attitude is very important as to how the experience ends up affecting you. Because of her openness to new things she end’s up learning to speak a little Polish in Italy, learns about picking olives, becomes a great cook, and develops new unique friendships.
Never Lose Your Childlike Enthusiasm
One of Frances best friends and supporters was the eccentric Katherine, her main advice to her was to “never loose your childlike enthusiasm“.
I feel that children really are some of the most amazing teachers we have. They truly know how to live; our whole goal as we become older should be to learn how to be more childlike. Children don’t think as much as they feel, they mostly process their world through feeling, that’s why they are able to experience incredible moments of joy.
When Frances reaches a point of breakdown, she is questioning why she bought a home for a life she doesn’t have. One of the characters asks her why she did it. Frances simply says, “Because I’m sick of being afraid all of the time”.
I Think many of us have had the experience of where we completely broke down, in these types of moments, one needs faith, faith in oneself to get through the tough times. There is always a huge learning lesson that will make us stronger if we choose to have faith, to know that we will be better from it when it’s all said and done.
One of my favorite scenes was when Katherine is telling Frances a story on how one should approach the things we want in life. “When I was young I would spend hours looking for lady bug’s…finally I would give up, fall asleep…when I woke up they where crawling all over me”. The lesson is this, whenever you become attached to your desires, you hold them away from you. When you learn to become detached, you allow for your desires to come into your life.
In the end Frances gets her wish of having a wedding, a family, and a new romantic relationship. But just like in real life, life has a way of giving us what we want, just in way’s we never expect. From my own life I have learned to expect the unexpected, to not place any conditions how my desires become fulfilled.
When you learn to become open, detached, and non judgmental you see that there truly is a lot more than meet’s the eye. The events we perceived to be random, end up not being very random at all, all part of the grand scheme of the universe.
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