Tonight, my mother and I went to see Julie Powell, author of the book Julie & Julia and featured guest for the Lackawanna County Library Lecture Series.
I was eager to meet the woman who inspired this blog. I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never been to anything like this before.
Initially, she was pretty nervous — which shocked me. I don’t know why, because lots of people (including yours truly) is intimidated by standing on stage, in front of people (whether it’s 2 or 2,000), with hot lights beating down on you and hearing your own voice booming over a microphone. Frightening.
She was also quirky, brutally honest and very personable.
The most important thing I took away from her talk was that the Julie & Julia project turned out to be about carving out a place for herself in her own life.
She refers to many of her accomplishments as “falling into rabbit holes”. Not intentional. Not planned. Just sorta happened. She also compared being portrayed in major film to “being boiled alive” — just like the lobsters she cooked during the project.
Like Julie, I also find cooking to be my haven. When everything else is life is stressing me out (and causing my heart to palpitate – and not in the good way!), cooking is what relaxes me. It grounds me.
Back in the 60’s, Julia Child bucked the notion that cooking was slavery. And, I couldn’t agree more! Cooking to me is freedom and peace. To me, it’s cathartic.
Julie recounted an evening when a reporter from the NY Times came to her home to write an article about her. She told us it was about 110 degrees in her apartment. Everyone was sweating. I laughed out loud because that’s exactly what it was like last week when the reporter from the Scranton Times came to my house!
Apparently, some feel that Julie Powell is “whiny and narcissistic”. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if she is or isn’t. What’s interesting is she recounts her experiences as “un-varnished truths”. It is what it is. And, I admire that.
Julie explained that when she started her project it was about learning French cooking. But, by the end, she realized it was all about living bravely, seeing opportunities in the world and that the only person she had to answer to is herself!
Thanks, Julie, for an inspiring story and a candid lecture!
And, thank you to the Lackawanna County Library System for hosting such a great event!
To read more about what Julie is up to these days, check out her blog.
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