Books: Eat, Pray, Love

I never thought that I would read this book. I had all sorts of prejudices and opinions about this book, about the kind of people who read it, and I didn't want to be one of them. I have this deep seated antipathy to the notion perpetuated by so many films and books now that if a woman is unhappy in her life and marriage, she need only get a divorce and do something wild and interesting in order to find happiness and fulfilling love. I think this idea is just as dangerous and just as backwards as the notion of prince charming- for what if, after all of that, one finds that nothing has changed, that after the excitement subsides, one is the same, one's life is the same, only minus one? Life is growth and so is marriage, and each is invariably complicated, too much so for such cut and dry whimsical distinctions. I thought this book would be like that- I thought it would be the story of some crazy hippy who bowed out of her marriage and traveled the world to do crazy hippy things, and I wasn't interested.

But then all of these people that I knew from all of these different walks of life started talking about this book and reading it, and one of them finally convinced me to watch the film, and you know what- I liked it, a lot. Obviously. I liked it because it wasn't some crazy beatnik traveling the world looking for answers everywhere besides in herself. I loved it because it was this woman who realized that if she wanted to keep living, she had to change something; because it was the story of one woman's quest to learn to how to live, and to learn to balance it all- and that is what appealed to me about this book.

I loved the book for Gilbert's journey and for her candor in writing about it, for the way she made me think and see, how she carried me in her back pocket as she reasoned through her journeys and her discoveries- and I love that she seeks, perpetually, for an answer and for a way, when it is so tempting to lie down and give it all up. I loved it because it inspired me and because it made me think-- because it was a complete picture, in a way, of life: a picture of pleasure, of food and sensation and our relations to it as well as its impact on our lives and well being; a picture of the soul and of our journey towards something greater than ourselves; a picture of the need for balance in body, mind, soul, and life- in our interactions with those we love and in what we hope so desperately for; a picture of balance between all of these aspects and a search to unify them all into one life and one person.

And finally, I loved this book because sometimes, you just come across the right book at the right time and it speaks, somehow, to all of the struggles that you're having in your life at that moment- and this  book really did that for me, in a big way.

Elizabeth Gilbert's Website
Buy Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been avoiding it for all the same reasons... Maybe I'll have to give that up and actually just read the darn thing.