Monday, April 4, 2011

"Breakfast at Tiffany's"

I always prefer the book to the movie if I have read and seen both presentations of the same story. I'd seen this movie quite awhile ago.... so long ago, in fact, that I had completely forgotten what it was about. But I had never read the book. 

After visiting the "American Corner" in the Zugdidi library on Saturday afternoon, I came away with two books that I haven't yet read and a movie that I haven't seen: the Cohen brother's "Fargo," Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Capote's story is only a hundred pages long, so I spent a few hours reading it on Saturday and Sunday.

I'm not going to go into great detail about the story or Capote's style -- except to say that I could tell a man had written it -- seldom does a man write a woman's character in a natural, believable way -- and as great as the story is, the author missed the mark of the female-ness of his central character. However, I loved the name and profession he chose to give her....

"Ms. Holiday Golightly, Traveling."

That's what her card said. Some days I feel that could be written on my business cards. I have traveled a great deal and have made it a priority in my life. I would rather not have "things," but spend my money on traveling instead. Seeing a new place, being taken in by the beauty or vastness or starkness of a landscape that is completely unlike anything I have ever seen brings me much more fulfillment than a shopping trip. I don't need the latest and greatest anything, but I do need to breathe in some new air that I've never breathed -- or hear some local music that I've never heard -- or feel lost in the words of a language that isn't mine -- or wander through streets or trails surrounded by architecture or trees that I've never seen. In every new cultural experience, my soul expands just a little bit more, covering just a little more ground, including just a bit more of this vast world I live in, connecting with a few more kindred spirits. That's what traveling does for me.

And what about that name -- Holiday Golightly? Who doesn't love to be on holiday? Free from cares and worries. Free from work. Free to do whatever you please, whenever you please, with whomever you please. And to go lightly -- lightly-packed means that one can get around more easily and adeptly. Light-hearted, maybe. Sounds good to me.

Or does it? I may be cursed with Wanderlust, but I am tired of being away. Something that Holiday said in the book resonated with me (well, a lot she said resonated with me, but this in particular) -- after being compared with a bird that was set free and flew away, she mused, "It's better to look at the sky than to live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear."

I'll be glad to come down out of the sky and just look at it for awhile. Until Wanderlust strikes again....


  1. "or wander through streets or trails surrounded by architecture or trees that I've never seen."
    I can't wait till you come back and introduce me to some unexplored (for me) territory.

  2. You got it, Bev!! We'll hit some trials first, and who knows where they might lead us....