Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

As you know, every so often I write about a book that I read. I recently finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert…a self-discovery memoir that, for me, was more than simply a pleasant beach read. It’s the true and sometimes self-deprecating story of the thirty-something writer who goes through a painful divorce and a subsequent break-up from someone who couldn’t be the man she wanted him to be. She decides to spend a year searching for joy, peace, and meaning in her life rather that wallowing in the repercussions of her life choices and consequent decisions.

She travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia where her mission in each country is most fittingly described in the order of the book’s title. While in Italy, the goal is pure and unadulterated pleasure, through the experiences of food, beautiful art and architecture, and learning one of the most romantic and beautiful languages on earth. Our author leaves Italy a little lighter in spirit but heavier in form! Next, there was India where she stayed at an Ashram, a retreat house of sorts, where pilgrims from all over the world travel to deepen their self awareness and meditative practices. While in India, Liz sheds the pounds gained in Italy, mainly because of the vegetarian diet, chores, yoga and meditation at the Ashram, and where she meets Richard from Texas who uttered the words “stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone should be” one of my favorite literary quotes. From India, Liz sets off to Bali where she learns to recognize and appreciate basic, common-sense life lessons, mainly through her interactions with an indigenous medicine man and woman and where she learns to love again through the gentleness, attentiveness, and kindness of a somewhat unlikely suitor. It is in Bali, when referring to romance, that Liz admits she “has fallen in love more times than [she]can count with the highest potential of a man…a victim of [her] own optimism.” Hmmmmm....

This is a sometimes irreverent but intuitive and enjoyable tale about expectations, choices, anguish and consequences and also about the courage to change your path. A very pleasant, thought provoking and often humorous tour into the author’s physical, spiritual and emotional voyage. Thank goodness Ms. Gilbert was gutsy, introspective and generous enough to embark on and chronicle this amazing journey!

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