Okay…I’ll admit it. I was prepared to really dislike this book.
As I said in my earlier post, I’d read some less than glowing reviews where the critics groused about Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-absorption, etc.
But she had me from page 14:
“Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions. I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in a dogmatic scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed—much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts.”
As a yoga practitioner of a number of years, a second level Reiki devotee , and student of all things psychic, this is right up my proverbial alley. Rather than go into a long explanation, please see my post “Playing Poker with Tarot Cards.”
This book resonated with me on several other levels. I, too, went through a divorce that knocked the slats out from under me, although my husband did the leaving and I was the one who was left.
In my situation, I had two young children and was just starting out on what was supposed to by “my turn” at an education and a chance at a potentially well-paying job.
Instead, I was faced with a husband of ten years who decided he didn’t like domesticity anymore and wanted out. Not in the mere two years of professional schooling it would take me to become self-sufficient, but immediately.
Plus, he was a lawyer.
I remember waking up alone, early in the morning after he finally left us. The sun was just coming up. Everything looked the same but everything had changed. I felt like I was being pressed down into the bed by a heavy weight. What the hell was I going to do now?
Well, I didn’t take to my bed and I soldiered on and got help from family (even his family) and made it through without him.
Along the way, I met the man who would become my husband of 34 years as of this posting. He reminds me a lot of Felipe in that he’s 11 years my senior and said the same thing to me that Felipe told Elizabeth:
“I want to take care of you forever.”
And so far, he has more than lived up to that declaration.
I’m not a traveler, not by a long shot. I like my own little bed and my own bathroom and can’t imagine just taking off and turning up in some foreign land with no idea where I’m going to stay. I admire Gilbert’s ability to do this and the way she describes it all in such a self-deprecating, conversational tone.
Some people have said the middle part about India drags, but since I was very familiar with all the concepts she presented, I guess I have a built-in appreciation. (Having attempted meditation on several occasions, “monkey mind” can be an understatement. In my case, it was more like a barrelful of them.)
I like writers who use humor and vivid description but without so much convoluted wordiness that I have to backtrack several times over paragraphs to understand what I just read. Sure, I like to be challenged; but I don’t think I need to be exhausted after a couple hours of reading. I found EPL mentally refreshing, like a dip in the pool.
I love to read, but sometimes I’ve come across books where I keep paging ahead to see just how much longer I have to labor at it. That didn’t happen here.
I didn’t want this one to end.
“Eat, Pray, Love” was definitely worth the $3.39 plus $3.99 shipping.
(As for the movie….I may even see it before it comes out on DVD.) 🙂