An Appetite for Life
4-6 years ago I kept a blog called “Foggy Air.” I named it Foggy Air as a hat-tip to Fresh Air, the NPR show hosted by Terry Gross (who I have admired for many years), and also because I started it in my mid-twenties—a time of much confusion and decided lack of clarity.
Last year, GoDaddy called to ask if I wanted to renew that domain name; my rights to www.foggyair.com were about to expire. No longer writing for the blog, and no longer stoked on the name, I let it go. But not before screen-grabbing some posts.
Here’s one that I remember writing like it was yesterday. I stand by everything I said 6 years — 2013 Katie was onto something about life:
On Living Life with an Appetite — Of All Kinds
originally published November 7, 2013
I saw a movie last week that I can’t stop thinking about. It’s a French film called Blue is the Warmest Color — or La Vie d’Adele — and you may have heard of it because it’s just been released stateside, with a splash. (Lengthy lesbian sex scenes will have that affect). Regardless of the controversy, it’s the most beautiful love story I’ve seen depicted on screen.
The film made a big impact on me. Specifically, the appetite of Adele, the lead character.
In one of the opening scenes, she eats voraciously, with her mouth open, taking in huge forkfuls of pasta drenched in red sauce. It’s actually funny to watch the close-up shots of her lips smacking and teeth chomping, and the audience chuckles through the whole sequence. But it serves the plot in this way: Adele’s appetite for food is indicative of her appetite for life. It’s massive. It’s insatiable.
That kind of eagerness for food, and life, resonated with me. Behind her appetite is curiosity and a deep need to explore.
The fact that that the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, uses food as a way to express this drive in Adele makes perfect sense to me. Taking pleasure in food and seeking pleasure in life go hand-in-hand in my eyes (no wonder I’ve dedicated my career to food journalism). Toe at fully is a part of living fully. So Adele’s ravenous quality strikes me not only as truthful, but as something I can very much relate to.
And I have to address the more in-your-face correlation the film makes: her carnal devouring of food and her sexual appetite. There, again, I think life is fuller with a healthy dose of that kind of appetite, too.
To me, being human is to feel all these cravings, to feel them completely, and to take pleasure in satiating them. To an ecstatic and devastating effect, both. The film succeeded—outstandingly—in bringing this view of life to the forefront of my mind.
Also, I left that movie craving pasta. I went home and made myself a big bowl of it.