Friday, March 9, 2012

for the love of summahhh

I've been reading Ya-Yas In Bloom (HarperCollins, 2005, by Rebecca Wells).

I spent my early teenage years— from about age 12 to age 15— positively immersing myself in the stories of the fictional Ya-Ya Sisterhood. And it still fascinates me how Rebecca Wells created such a beautifully complex and complete world.

When we were 12, Maria's mom, Linda, took us to see the movie Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002, starring Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, James Garner, Ashley Judd, Maggie Smith and like a million other awesome actors). I loved it. Later that summer, I went to Italy with my parents and Auntie Michele, and I took the book. I devoured it. Then I bought the prequel, Little Altars Everywhere, and it was just captivating.

Then I re-read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere more times than I can count. I knew those characters, every one of them. I still have my paperback copies from those years. They are ripped and scuffed and folded and ever so worn.

Last year, I was really sick one weekend— like, couldn't-get-out-of-bed-sick. I watched seven movies (seven!) and also went through my Netflix Queue. And that's when I noticed that Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was available on Instant View and watched it for the first time in years.

My goodness, how it makes me want to be southern! The way they talk is so beautiful. Their voices sound like summer, slow like syrup, melodious with the most simple one-syllable words. It's sensual and glamorous and relaxing. It reminds me of my friend Airin. Airin was one of my many mothers growing up. (My parents always surrounded me with a brigade of strong, beautiful women who cared for me as if I were their own.) Airin is from Kentucky, and she's a free-thinking, free-wheeling, life-loving, liberal massage-therapist. And really, while that may seem like a disconnect considering her roots, her voice is right there. It's  a meditation to hear her talk.

(Take a listen.)

The truth is, I don't think the American South gets nearly enough credit for being as awesome as it is. My experiences have been positively magical. North Carolina is such a delight— Asheville, Southern Pines, Chapel Hill. Georgia? Savannah is sweet and historical and romantic. Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia— they are purely of their own. I love the American South!

P.S. For more Southern love,  check out The Secret Life of Bees, movie or book. I read it, then watched it. The movie was just like watching the book. Seriously. Except that in the movie was a little more red than the pink I had imagined. I love Queen Latifah. And I actually got to meet her a few weeks ago!

No comments:

Post a Comment