Among a stack of books (memoirs, novels, etc) a friend lent to me in 2014 was Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller- turned- movie.
For the better part of April and May, I have been slowly thumping through its pages.
Funny, I hadn’t realized the film was adapted from a book until I clapped eyes on it. Thankfully, I’m yet to see the film; it certainly would have soiled the reading experience for me as I’d rather glean a story from a book than its audio – visual version which would, most definitely, not capture every thought, essence of the entire written word.
Last month, when I began leafing through it, I grudgingly did so. I must admit this. All the time it had been staring gloomily at me from the bookshelf, I cheerfully favoured other titles over it. Until it became my last and only resort, having devoured all the others it had come along with.
Reluctantly, slowly, like a dreaded punishment, I opened its pages and asked myself only one page after: Why hadn’t I read this book before now?
Divided into three sections – each depicting her travel events and knowledge in the different ‘I’ city she chose in search of pleasure, balance and God – she unraveled her year of travelling in 36 tales for each city. Of all the places she visited, Italy stole my heart; India left unsettling questions about my commitment to God; while Bali threw up a mixture of feelings – hope, gratitude and a firm resolve.
But I loved Italy best. Her search and discovery of pleasure in their food, learning their language, attempting to imbibe their culture (and knowing she could never be one of them) as well as the characters (most of whom become good friends) she crosses paths with. This doesn’t, in any way, translate to a sudden, compulsive desire of mine to learn the Italian Language or their ways.
I read the book, tale by tale. Wavering between one and three stories daily. Only putting the book down when it seemed my reading pace would bring me to its end long before I was ready to arrive there. And that’s how two months went by and saw me hugging just one book to my bosom; time that would have been spent on four books! But I regret not one minute of it. Time very well spent, if you ask me.
While I do not share her need to travel to various locations to find herself as relates to pleasure, balance and everything else in between, there’s this saying about different folks and different folks which I kept applying to the book as it unfolded.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing style pulled me in, one page at a time. She’s witty, humourous…In my black smoke of self – loathing, …from simple dislike to solid dread. Her use of words to aptly describe her circumstance, her decisions, her demons, her feelings had me filling up pages of my yellow pad with her unique expressive style, her truths and how they resonate with me. I felt her gamut of emotions – happiness, sadness, gloom, exhilaration, shame, regret, ecstasy, suffering, etc
Eat, Pray, Love was worth every page of my attention, and the attendant education it provided as concerns improving my scribbling skills.
I’m already on the lookout for her other works.
photo credit: en.wikipedia.org