Thursday, October 29, 2009

Julia Child and other Female Mentors

So a while back me and two of my lovely mom friends went to the movie “Julie and Julia”. I am sure you know of it... It is the story about two different women in different time periods trying to find themselves and who both turn to cooking to do so. The older women from the earlier period inadvertently becomes a mentor to the younger woman of modern day as both find, through their love for cooking, purpose in their lives. The movie is based on a book that I have yet to read, but the fun for me was I remember watching Julia Child’s cooking program as a kid...(we had very limited television programing up north where I grew up) I thought she was fascinating and like no other woman I knew, to be sure!
The movie itself was a delightful little number but I do know from a friend who read the book that Julie in the movie is not quite the same as Julie in the book....beyond that we all found it very funny, Meryl Streep was brilliant as Julia Child and the best thing was we went to an early movie and planned to have dinner after...WELL after watching a movie where...really, food was the STAR, our appetites we high and we were ready to sink our teeth into something a little more than pub food .... if you know what I mean. I highly recommend eating AFTER the movie.
Before I go one you have to check out Mrs. Julia Child herself...she TRULY is one of a kind...

Are you laughing?? Is it just me or is that lady funny???
She really just makes me smile....a lot!
So back to my lovely evening...we decided to go for dinner to a nice Italian Restaurant and had a nice meal and good conversation...we ended with an apple crisp cheese cake..one slice that we shared...yes that was Caramel Apple Cheese Cake...two favorites wrapped up into one...Delicious!(Believe me after that movie you WANT to eat...really yummy yummy food!)


So after the movie and after a email from a friend abroad, I got to thinking about women and their mentors. For myself, in my world I think mentoring has been lost somewhere in the modern technologies of our time. I mean right now I can google ANYTHING and find out about it. Now, don’t get me wrong...that is cool! But at what expense do these modern conveniences come at?
Stay with me for a moment, this is just meant to get you thinking, that is all.
I just finished reading the book Roots by Alex Haley. It is an amazing story about an African boy who was stolen from his village to be brought to America into a life of slavery. Alex Haley was this mans sixth generation grandson, who, after many years of research and writing published this book, Roots. A story about this African boy, his great-great-great-great-grandfather, Kunta Kinte. Because of the story telling tradition that Kunte Kinte learnt in his village and brought to his new life in America, Alex Haley was able to re-trace his grandfathers steps right back to the village he was stolen from. Not only that, when Mr. Haley arrived in that village...the village story teller was able to tell him everything that had happened before, during, and after Kunta’s kidnapping, because that story had been past from story teller to story teller in the village. I find that simply amazing and so powerful!!!!
I realize history story telling is different than mentoring but...maybe not as different as we think.
I think there needs to be more story telling amongst women...(well people in general...but the title of this post is Julia Child and other FEMALE Mentors...so I will stick to the female side of things.). There is SOME....but we need MORE. I once heard a woman say she hates to read biographies. It was in a book club I was a part of at the time, and the book we were to have read was, indeed, a biography suggested by....yup, yours truly. She felt that they, biographies, were a form of conceit..like what made this woman so important that we should read about her life??? She did not read the book.
I was taken aback by her attitude...not because I had picked the book, but because my thoughts of biographies were so different. My thought was to learn about another’s life experiences and in this particular biography about a woman who over came childhood hardships to making something of herself. About a journey through an exciting career yet finding ones true self at the top of a mountain in the middle of another continent far from home. A story of a woman BRAVE enough to open her life, her mistakes, her triumphs,her falls, to us so that we may gather some wisdom from her story, and bring it into ours.
Everyones biography is interesting, everyone DOES have a story to tell...the thing is not everyone chooses to write about it and make it public. So I feel that woman, from my old book club, missed the POINT of the book. She missed the importance of sharing ones story with another...mentoring....so to speak.
(the book was "Lessons in Becoming Myself") by Ellen Burstyn)

Of course I am not saying run out and write your biography...unless you are truly moved to do so. I am just saying, share your story. Know that you are interesting. Someone will listen, learn and grow from what you have to offer. The scary thing about telling your story can be sharing the uglies...yup not so fun. You know those things we would rather forget along with that bad perm your mother gave you in grade 8...you know the one. It is a scarey thing to open yourself up to judgment of others, BUT we are not created with the spirit of fear...that comes from somewhere else, be it our ego, the dark side, the little devil on your shoulder...whatever you choose to call it, it stops you from sharing your wealth of life with others.
This mentoring does not have to happen from old to young, it can be young to old...both are equally as important, equally as effective.
What can I share with you from my life? Well, for a large part of my life I lived with a great desire to die. This started when I was a child..I wanted to die young because I knew through the bible stories I was told, that Jesus really loved kids, so I thought that if I died young I would be sure to be loved. And so this thought followed me for most of my life...some times stronger than others. But the thirties came and it was a big time of transformation for me. I experienced death, new life and true love all in a very short time. And through these events layers were pealed off of my heart; and yes it was a painful as it sounds, to reveal a love for life that I never knew I had.
Of course this is a “compressed” version of my journey...I guess you will just have to wait for my...biography...lol
What I learned during these years was that our life is ours, and we can choose to live in the shadows or we can embrace the light of our dreams. We can choose to listen to the lys, or we can choose to see who God created us to be...Captivating, glorious, light-filled creatures entwined in a colourful exchange of love, life and relationship.
Are you still with me?
If you are, you rock! and I love you!

A woman
She sits alone
Words on her lips
Wait for ears to listen
Embraces to be made
Love to be exchanged
Words wait on lips
Ears are silent
A woman

by Catherine Basso

5 comments:

Widge said...

Thanks :) you rock too.

I'm passionate about women learning from each other. I have found myself making mental notes of everyday women that I admire, where I can ,apply to my life what they have (usually without realising) taught me.

An example of this is the middle aged daughter of an elderly couple I cleaned for for a few months. she would do so much for them. Dressed in her overalls out helping her dad on the farm, taking all their bedding home and washing it while they were away, bringing them around puddings etc etc...it really opened my eyes to how I may need to do those things for my parents one day and how much she treasured them and all despite having a busy family herself.

That's ONE of many examples to me, and it's really just normal life stuff...relationships

Amo said...

I am not one to hide my feelings or any of my story. I will tell anyone anything if they will listen. And I have found that talking about your story helps you heal. And who knows? Maybe your story can help someone else. It might encourage them to talk about their story and help them heal, too. Loved your post and thanks for writing it!

Cat said...

thanks for your comments girls...I always love that!

Ana said...

what an inspiring post, I also love Julia Child!

Mae said...

Thank you for sharing a beautiful story highlighting one of our courageous women in history: Julia Child. I too, watched Julia as a little girl, the reruns of Master Chef and her show in later years were always available on PBS and I was enraptured with her over-sized frame and swift deftness as she handled a plucked fowl. Other kids were watching Zoobilee Zoo, I was practicing my rolling pin wielding skills with a garble-y New England accent.

The movie Julie & Julia came out just as I was launching my own food blog (I was completely unaware of Julie Powell before that, however), and I was shocked at the parallels in our lives. I was just a month from turning 30 myself, with a similar job and also looking for a creative outlet that spelled PASSION. I keep Julia, and now Julie, close in mind now as I cook and photograph and blog away.

...I've just now discovered this wonderful site, by the way, thru SITSta. It looks like I'll be following some more amazing women here, now, too!

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