The first time I read Eat Pray Love…
I felt resistance. In fact, during its first few chapters I rolled my eyes and mumbled bullshit several times. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love (amazon.com) is a gifted writer and storyteller, so I read the book to the end. That was in 2008, back when I felt determination to make my then-marriage work.
In 2014, I rested my overheating face on the outdated tile of my condo bathroom. It felt cool against my skin and helped slow my ragged sobs down. Had I stayed with my ex-husband, my cheek would have been resting on beautiful tile and I could have taken a soothing bath in a whirlpool once done with the tears. My condo’s master bathroom was dated, ugly, and didn’t have a bath.
I’d never rested my head on the bathroom floor while sobbing during my time with my first husband. My emotional well didn’t seem to run all that deep back then for a wide variety of reasons. The point is, with my face on the tile, I thought of Elizabeth Gilbert writing about the times she spent sobbing on her bathroom floor in Eat Pray Love. There’s something about a bathroom floor that’s comforting. Try it the next time you feel a need to have a good, hard cry. You might like it.
She wrote about some voice telling her to “just go to sleep.” I remembered that from the book too and decided to heed the voice’s advice. In the morning, I felt better. There is so much that a night’s sleep can solve.
The 2nd Time
Before going for a walk, I found Eat Pray Love on Scribd. I began to listen to it as I walked down Valkyrie Drive to the paths across Elton Hills Drive. Eat Pray Love was brilliant from the first word on.
Now that I am in the fortunate position of getting to sort out what to do with my life, I am turning to the wisdom of Eat, Pray, Love again. This time, I will listen to one chapter a day. Then, I will write. At the end of 108 days, I hope to at least have better questions.
3rd Time’s the charm, right?
This journey will begin like most real-life ones do, in media res. I’ve been making all kinds of self-discoveries these past few years. Late 30s, early 40s seem to be the age for that, right?
My resources are not quite so unbounded as Gilbert’s. I will not be traveling to Italy, India, and Indonesia. Much of my time will be spent home, in Minnesota. I will not be living life alone. My fiance and I live together. Four of his seven (six of his plus one stepson) children stay at our house every other weekend and from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning during the school year. I have a daughter and granddaughter. Chris has one grandson.
Our lives are busy. Most days end with us wondering where in the heck all of our time went…
Today is Easter Eve. In the Catholic church, Easter Vigil will be held tonight. For Catholics it’s a time to wait with lamps full and burning, “so that he will find us awake and seat us at his table.” I will not be attending the service tonight.
However, I do believe one of the best things we can do in life is make of ourselves a light and shine. That’s what I am going to be pursuing during these next 108 days. Each day, I will be looking for ways to fill my lamp and keep it burning, so that I can make of myself the best light that I can manage.
“Make of yourself a light,” are said to be Buddha’s last words.
Perhaps there’s something to it…
This post’s picture is of construction in the Nicollet Mall area of Minneapolis last spring. The image seemed right, because I feel like my light continues to be under construction…