Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of those books that I’ll always carry around in my heart. I’ll share it with others and I will read it again. I’ve dog-eared countless pages where I felt like Liz — my new best friend forever author — is speaking directly to me, as though we are sitting in some cafe sipping tea and dishing over lost loves, great food and our spiritual journeys.
“Traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was 16 years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby — I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine…
I have my own set of survival techniques. I am patient. I know how to pack light. I’m a fearless eater. But my one mighty travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody.”
I wish she was in my life. I wish I could have dinner with her and quiz how exactly she climbed in my brain and made me feel better — about everything. I once described an ex-boyfriend as a drug I simply couldn’t get away from. I knew he was bad for my soul, but I was hooked. Guess I’m not the only one.
“Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit that you wanted — an emotional speedball, perhaps of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promplty turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who know refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore — despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it because he used to give it to you for free. The next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have that thing even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you.”
Scary how true to form I followed that little recipe for disaster. Thankfully, I survived. This 300+ page book reminded me how nice it feels to be happy and to not be the freak waiting for her crap boyfriend to return (although the skinniness was nice while it lasted.) Finny sent this literary therapy as a gift (or perhaps on loan. Regardless, I owe her a new copy) and I inhaled the story. I couldn’t put it down. But then, too quickly, it was all over and I was taking each of the last 20 pages one letter a time hoping desperately that there would be more by the time I’d finished.
Liz, if you are reading, thank you. Within your book of travel and adventure, you reminded me of who I am and what I love. I too love to travel. I love to eat great food. I’ve got a great friendship with my faith. And I love who I am. Your story of rediscovering the beauty of you reminded me that life is to be cherished — not paced by relationships. I finished this book on my recent trip to San Francisco. With the novel in mind, here are a few glimpses from my travels:
Miss Finny in her garden. One of my favorite people in one of her favorite places. The wine was nice too!
Some of the best public transportation in the world. How can you not love BART?
A mother and daughter in China Town on Mother’s Day. This made me ache for my own mama.
Eat Pray Love — five out of five bananas, absoloodle.
*More San Francisco photos here.*