To get things started, I thought I would write about a book that encompasses food, travel, and relationships. It seemed fitting considering I am traveling to Aruba with my boyfriend and planning to have lots of delicious meals!
I was swept away by Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, as I have heard many were.
Just look at the cover design: Eat is written in pasta, pray in prayer beads, and love in flowers. It's simple, yet it ties in so well with the themes in the book.
It's been a while since I've read it (and actually I may take it on the plane with me to reread it), but I remember being drawn in and affected by so many parts of it. It's always interesting when you read a book and you can really empathize with the author but also feel like she empathizes with you, that she knows you.
The book is divided into three parts (called books) because the number three is important, and Gilbert explains why in her introduction.
I most enjoyed Italy. How shocking that I would be so fond of the "Eat" part. But it wasn't really the food that sucked me in this time. It was Gilbert's relationships.
About her husband, she says, "I equal parts loved him and could not stand him" (12). I think that's something most women who have been in long, and not so wonderful, relationships can attest to.
And then there was her relationship with David. I don't want to tell you too much because I want you to read it and find everything out yourself, but I think this is another of those relationships we may have all been in at one time or another, that we cling to, and Gilbert conveys it so well.
She moves on to India and then to Indonesia, working out her issues along the way. She sees things about herself that when you read them you can determine whether you see those same things in yourself.
There's depression, there's loneliness, there's finding oneself -- through food, prayer, and love -- and there's eventual happiness. This is a travel memoir and a personal journey.
I felt a real connection with this book. It made me laugh and cry, as a good book should.
A book is different to different people, and because I felt like chunks of my life were in this book, I loved it.
One of my favorite quotations comes from this book:
Moreover, I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that's not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog's money, my dog's time--everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else. - Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I hope, that if you haven't already, you will read this book, and maybe feel empowered by it... or at least really enjoy it.
If you have read this book, what did you think?
Remember, I'm away until March 20, so you won't get responses from me until then.