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Eat, Pray, Love: The Verdict

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.

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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.)    🙂