“Eat. Pray. Love.” by Elizabeth Gilbert —— A Book Review (sort of)

So I finished it. That book I was dead set against liking. And I liked it – more than liked it. “Eat. Pray. Love.” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know, I know, it has “pray” in the title. It almost kept me from reading it. Being raised fire and brimstone in the Assembly of God church, I have an instant gag reflex when it comes to religion in ANY form. But. I more than liked it. There was a ton of God talk but the God talk was elusive and not done in a church and never identified. One of my favorite parts was when she wrote that the God that she called to and who answered in her darkest hours somehow seemed to be the future, healed, actualized her talking to herself in the past from the future.

I have had those days recently. Days were I just couldn’t stand the very thought of me, the thoughts in me. I will always struggle with domesticity, monogomy, marriage, parenthood. These things can be stiffling for some. Too tried and true. Too much the “way things are done.” The reason why I’ve chosen them – love and comfort and blind abandon. It’s the overtly passionate me and the long distant relationship runner me in a dead heat.

A couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t take the claustrophobia and I went into the bathroom, shut the door and began to peal the wall paper from the walls, I pulled off the molding, dug up the linoleum and pulled free the grout. It’s now a ginormous mess but I made it through the night and I’m still here, cleaning the kitchen, tucking my babe into bed and finding myself in the hallways of my home.

This book came just in time. It reminded me that looking inward, questioning and finding moments of silence are so important. Sometimes I wish I could just veg out and just be whomever everyone needs me to be but I can’t stop fighting. Fighting for peace, my place in a too tightly wrapped society and my sanity. I don’t fit – my round butt just can’t make it into this square peg of a way of life. I know I’m probably not made for marriage or motherhood. Although I’m great at giving out heavy doses of love. But the way it’s all presented today just seems too constrained and too full of technical gadgets. All the things you’re suppose to own, all the how-to books you’re suppose to read, all the ways the world makes you worry about what you’re not doing right, choke me into oblivion.

Anyway, “Eat. Pray. Love.” reminded me to sit still and listen – really listen again. To still my mind, my thoughts and become peace myself. Instead of looking for it, I can create it. I had a dream the other night that two friends and myself were running through nature in nearly nothing. We were like deer. We were like a stream. We carved the path through the grass and hills with our bodies and in the end came together like water, lapping, creating a new way of being in the world as one giant being. After this I went and had a two and half hour massage and I left America. I joined Elizabeth in India and became the pure essential oils of the earth. I left suspended in joy.

So here I sit, after meditating in front of my fire in the darkness of my still house. My family sleeps. I’m staying vigil by the flames. Basking in my return from trying to rub the walls raw and find a place that I can fit in this American life I live in. I think I skipped a few beats in the last reincarnation. I’m not sure I’ll ever find my fit in this lifetime. But I spent an hour reading to my daughter tonight – stories neither of us had ever heard before. Her body leaning back against my heart and the rhythm of my voice lulling us into a mediation all our own. In this I can find a small place that seems like perfect peace in an often too loud and out of touch world.

And Elizabeth Gilbert and my daughter Autumn Wilder have the same birthday. July 18. Autumn’s paternal grandmother, who died recently was named Tootie (Tutti) who was also a ethereal character in Elizabeth’s book and whose name means EVERYONE in Italian. We’re all of a collective unconscious. I actually wish we were all a little more conscious but if I read enough into the words I devour and the way each day falls on my shoulders, I can carry myself and my family into our next adventure and lifetime.

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6 Responses to ““Eat. Pray. Love.” by Elizabeth Gilbert —— A Book Review (sort of)”

  1. I keep meaning to get this from the library, only I never remember *at* the library.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I was also hesitant to read this book as it was more the yoga/spiritual side I was apprehensive about, however she did an amazing job and it was entertaining and enlightening

  3. […] 23, 2007 · Filed under Reading Following up on my Eat, Pray, Love adventure with Elizabeth Gilbert, I read her biography of The Last American Man. I love that she […]

  4. I loved it. I’m fourteen and live in religious capital of the world, Boringtown! I wouldn’t mind it so much if they didn’t tell me I was damned to hell because I read Harry Potter. Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. Forever, i was set against religion because it had been shoved in my face. Not all religions are so bad, but i didn’t get that. I was tired of people scoffing at my gay pride belt (born for my brother-in-law’s brother), and I blamed it on religion. I’ve learned now, people will believe what they wnat to believe. I beleive Eat, Pray, Love was an amazing book. 🙂

  5. Read Eat Pray Love and loved it as well. I read it slowly to make it last longer. I could so relate to
    her and also to you. I too have found in this life of not fitting in to find the joy and beauty
    where I can. Beautiful blog. And I liked your Christmas gifts.

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