“What do you do when the world you built around you seems to be falling apart? Or when, the life you recognized as your home starts to seem like a jail, and you find yourself breaking the walls of your own fortress?”
Do you eat yourself to gluttony? Or do you go pray to the Powers That May Be? Or do you pine and long for some love to come by and heal your heart? Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the “Eat, Pray, Love” fame, found her answer in all three of the above.
“Eat, Pray , Love” is a rapturous account of the author’s journey from total desolation towards divine transcendence of sorts. Her book is a perfect equipoise between a memoir and a travelogue. Plagued by a devastating divorce and depression, the author decides to embark on a trip of One Whole Year! leaving behind everything one would consider the marks of a successful life.
She sets on a journey to the three “I”s, which finally lead her to discover her own “I”!
“EAT” is when she found Pleasure by finding the delights of the ‘la dolce vita’ life in Italy,
“PRAY” is when she found the spiritual balance of meditation and mental discipline in India, and
“LOVE” is when the author found the balance between pleasure and self – discovery in the culture of Bali Indonesia, where she fell in love with a man.
Gilbert’s narrative of her time in Italy, India and Indonesia, is engaging and delightful. Anybody who has questioned their life atleast once – and have dreamt of a complete make-over – could relate to her experiences during the travel.
I have a perpetual wanderlust, which was amply fueled while reading this book! Everything, from the love of learning a new language, to the love affair with soul-filling food, to the fine balance of the mind found in meditation, to the beauty and charm of Bali’s culture, the book took me on a journey of my own. I can truly relate when Gilbert says “to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice”
Have you ever dreamed of taking off for a whole year, visiting places you have never been to, meeting people you don’t understand the language of, reading menus on which foods sound like somebody just made up names for alien creatures? Then this book is for you! If you are someone who has found their happiness in simple joys of life like took a nap on the damp cool grass of a park, frequented the same small roadside eatery again and again for that inexpensive yet fulfilling cup of tea and maska bun, listened attentively while two people talked in a foreign language even when you didn’t understand a word of it, but just for the joy of hearing the sounds of that language. If you have wandered off aimlessly for long walks on unknown roads and found bliss with each step, then his book will certainly take you along with it, all through its sprawling pages!
I’ll leave you with a wonderful quote from the book which will make all those travel-thirsty souls out there get on a trip of their own!
“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love
A beautiful Italian word, which is just a pedestrian word in local language, has become like a mantra for Gilbert after her trip to Italy, and rightly so. You couldn’t miss the meaning and the beauty of the word yourself. Its called –
“Attraversiamo” which means “Let’s cross over.”
The beauty and simplicity of that word is profoundly metaphoric for making those most significant life-changing transitions from one place to another, one state of mind to another, one relationship to another, one life to another..is that not what life is all about…always moving..walking…crossing over…