Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weekend Reads: Food, Photography, My Passion List

It's no secret that I love food (um, really?)...and photography (seriously?). If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook is definitely no secret that I was as jazzed as jazzed can be when Hélène Dujardin's book Plate to Pixel came to fruition sooner than expected. I've got to is really more than I even expected. She's undeniably talented, hardworking, and about as real as they come but this's a dream come true for me.

At the risk of sounding like a nut I have to be transparent here. For a brief moment I got Hélène and Béa (Béatrice) Peltre confused. Both French expats, both ungodly talented, both food photographers. Their lives are, like all of ours, wildly divergent, but I clung to them...both of them. I found both of them when I needed it maybe more than most...a time of searching, admitted depression, and need for fulfillment. Food fills me up, so does photography - their images, again, so signature in taste, both filled me with sunshine and hope, satisfaction of life and a new lens with which to approach the world.

Since, of course, I have separated and identified. I can tell their lives and photos apart. But when they both announced books to be within mere months my heart nearly exploded.

You have to understand these are women who gave me hope and light when I couldn't see any. Again, I don't want to sound like some crazed fan but at the same time I wept when reading the first few pages of Hélène's book - the introduction, only a few pages, is compact with passion, drive, gratitude, and adoration of so many ways, the woman I've become and am becoming. For me, it is yet another gift, at the perfect time...the writing is absolutely her (perhaps polished, here or there, but please, we all need an editor)...but as I've begun to be ever stronger in myself, to pursue my passions, I feel reassured and whole in having this solid piece to hold on to, having this bit of mentor-like guidance within my grasp.

So, sure, I'm a bit biased.

There are people who's influence makes up a little bit of who you are...big or small...knowingly or not. Consider this my thank you note, I suppose. I am indebted.

And I am anticipatory of Béa's book..but so, so, cuddle up with a great drink (tea, wine, depends...), a superb blanket, and some quiet time thrilled with Plate to Pixel. I have so much to learn and by god, is that awesome? Life is one wildly fantastic journey.

Some other "brought me fire" links this week?

These blogs:

3191 Miles Apart

Green Kitchen Stories

The Dew Drop Inn

And Ira Glass...oh

Other things I live for? May 13. When Penny de Los Santos presents her *free* class, streaming via web, (info) here. A National Geographic us her knowledge, free. Headshakingly awesome.

More transparency? There is actual documentation that my goal in life, in second grade, was to be a National Geographic photographer, and writer. While I have not given that dream up, persay, I am happy to pursue it in my own small, not-so-published way.

Life is but a dream, non? Cheers!


diane said...

such a gorgeous and heartfelt thank you note. beautifully written, friend.

i have been following hélène's blog for many moons, but when i watched the promo video for 'plate to pixel' earlier this week she stole my heart. the book went immediately to the top of my list. it's resting next to 'and i shall have some peace there' by margaret roach. both seem like excellent summer reads.

i'm so honored that you included me in this post, nestled amongst such wonderful stuff. gracious thanks + wishes for a great weekend. xoxo

Ashley said...

I identify with this. Music has always been big for me, and I remember a pivotal moment where it helped so much. This is kind of a silly story.

Can't remember what all I've said or what you've pieced together, but we had our first child when I was still in college. Dropped out to set up house & work. Pregnant with #2 right after marriage. So years 22-24 were a big blur for me.

I hadn't watched the TV show Felicity at the time (I've seen the whole thing since on DVD) but ended up watching the series finale, which was a big recap of the series. I was so overwhelmed with being a young mom, not finishing school, feeling trapped & depressed & "what happened to my plans?!". Watching that show made me really upset - I saw the life I thought I was going to have - college, graduation, young & single & headed into the world.

So I went & grabbed the only loud music I had at the moment, a Jimmy Eat World CD, and put it on. I think I'd barely listened to it before that. The 2nd song, "A Praise Chorus" came on, and it was all about how you have to participate in life, you can't sit on the sidelines. The line, "even at 25, you gotta start sometime" really hit me. Sounds silly, but I had an epiphany - life didn't have to be over for me, especially at such a young age! Maybe it wasn't what I'd planned, but it could still rock.

Since then I've been working on making my unplanned life one that I'm really happy with.

So yeah . . . I know what it's like to be in a bad place and to have something that might seem inconsequential to others, wake you up or pull you out of that place, and give you hope. I'm glad it happened for you.

Brandi said...

Wow. So with a reaction like that I really do need to check out the work of these wonderful people. I honestly haven't heard of them before so I'm looking forward to an adventure. Thank you for brightening my day, Tricia!

keishua said...

Wow. this is making me excited. I am love reading good food writing. lately, I feel obsessed with beautiful food writing. currently, reading some essays by laurie colwin.

Tricia said...

I adore Luisa Weiss's food writing - if it's the writing you love. Check her out at:

katie @KatieDid said...

I have been chipping away at Helene's book for a month and I am also smitten with it. I've absorbed every word, and am finding it SO helpful with my photography pursuits.