Saturday, 14 August 2010

eat, pray, love


I have had the book, 'eat pray love' by Elizabeth Gilbert by my bedside for the past year or so, after watching an interview with the author on tv. I was immediately drawn to her story; a combination of heartbreak, separation, divorce, her spiritual search and her love of food!   
I began to read it and immediately found it was resounding within me with such accuracy, especially the eating section!

Then came the run up to Christmas, all the prep, the festivities and my work and l put the book aside as l knew l didn't want to devour it block buster or bonkbuster style. I wanted to breathe it in slowly, with concentration and thought.
Then, soon after the new year I came to a place where I found I could no longer read, at all. I am still in that place. Although the road has taken many twists and turns, six months later I still cannot read even a magazine article I just lurk and read the images and titles.


As well as the book on my bedside, which haunts me every time l glance at it. I have also been given a copy of it by a friend who told me, 
'Read it. I thought of you as I read it and it will speak volumes to you'  and even my Counsellor pulled it out of her Mary Poppins style bag held it out to me and said,
'This book will help you. I recommend it to you.'
Serendipity. Fate. Destiny. God. Happenstance. Intervention. I am so meant to read this book.





But I still cannot read.
And l continue to visit book and charity shops and libraries and I return home with armfuls. Only to trudge back wearily to the library returning them again and again. As a voracious reader this in itself is torture. Last week, in the library browsing for something to open this closed door to the wonders of my book land, l noticed a new stand of MP3 audio books. A small unit that is preloaded with an audio book, no cd's to juggle or upload. And there it was 'EAT PRAY LOVE'. 

I excitedly ran home with it. I lay on my bed in my now solitary bedroom, suffused with the beloved possessions, art work, prints and books which speak to me and feed me; l closed the curtains and I added my earphones and turned it on. I picked up my copy of the book from my bedside table and started from the beginning.

The words sprang to life, I began to take the words from the page and they stayed within me, instead of flowing right back out again as they have been for the last ten months or so. Like the author's journey of recovery and renewal, her words and her ability to communicate with humour and truth drew me right in again. This time it isn't just her love of food and it sensuality that speaks to me, it is the entire book; which is a fountain of light, wisdom and hope.

As l lay in my bed, snuggled down with earphones in and book propped up on my thighs, I notice the pencils marks and comments in the margin from the last time I started to read it. I wonder! Did l stop reading before the split with Larry, because something within me was precipitating these months to come? I know so. Since my life changed in February l have ridden on a storm of shock, adrenaline, coping and then BANG l hit the 'bathroom floor'. My doctor signed me off work and for the first few weeks l fought it, but now l have relaxed into it, I find I have made such progress I am actually quite pleased with myself.


I have now turned a corner; crossed a line; perhaps even begun on my new path. Understanding, breaks the shell of confusion and conflict into the core of resolution and forgiveness. Thus opening up a path towards tomorrow.

Many issues have not changed since February mostly in terms of the practical and logistical. But I have come to realise that acceptance on some levels is achievable. On other levels it is so innately woven into the core of  my being that I am sure they will remain with me always, although hopefully on some lesser level of sorrow.

I feel like this book is a friend who is helping me understand more of what is happening to me! Although at 52  shouldn't I know this already? Heck, why should I!

I have finished the 'book' and I am slowly moving through my own journey.
I am not lonely. 
I am most certainly not alone.



I have just heard today that this will shortly be released as a film, hope it isn't too Hollywood!

25 comments:

  1. Hooray - glad to hear of your progress. I can empathise with your not reading phase (and that is all it will be, I'm sure). When my son died - many years ago now - I went for months without being able to read a book. Like you, I was an avid reader so it came as a shock to find myself so inhibited. But, like all these things, it passed.
    Thinking of you,
    SS

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  2. Beautifully put, Sara, and I am so proud of how strong you are. Delighted to hear you are now ready to return to work and thank you for this recommendation...

    I am wary of anything with Julia Roberts in it, a la Hollywood, as you say, but the premise looks fab. Love you - Onwards and upwards, my warrior princess! xxx

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  3. After the trauma of university finals, where I had to dissect,analyse and comment on every aspect of German literature, what the author meant etc, I developed an aversion to reading any books at all and , like you, would just scan photos and headlines in women's magazines instead. It lasted decades and then suddenly I started reading again. I don't read a lot - usually when I am too tired at bedtime- but it is slowly coming back, so maybe you just need to give yourself time. The film looks good.

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  4. Your love of reading will come back, I promise. But we need to be patient with ourselves. I know I am much more willing and able to cut my friends some slack than to forgive myself and just let go and be.
    So glad that this particular book seems to be offering you a doorway to the future. In the past, I've found that books which made the most impact on my life were ones which just appeared as if by magic -- on the library shelves, on the clearance table at the bookstore, from the hand of a friend who said, "Here, read this, I think you'll be amazed." Good luck with everything in your life, not just the reading! Canadian Chickadee

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  5. I could not live without reading, but lately my eyesight is not what it used to be and even with bifocals, my eyes tire easily. That said, I will not give up. Whenever I was going through hard times, I found that reading got me through and helped me understand that I was not alone in my struggles. Now I'm reading Ken Follet's sequal to "Pillars of the Earth" - "World Without End" and even though it's over 1000 pages long, I don't want it to end! I'm glad you're back and can read again and that it's helping! I can tell that you're a stronger woman than you even realize. Big hugs!

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  6. I am so pleased that you switched to audio books. That sounded the perfect thing to do and you were obviously meant to read this book.
    I'm so glad that you are making such good progress and hope that you will go from strength to strength now.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  7. My 3 sons (ages 17 to 31) knew I wanted to see this movie, and they all took me today to see it! My favorite quote from the movie was "God is within me....as me." I did not read the book, but the movie had some extremely powerful and inspirational journeys!

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  8. Now I have to read the book-- which for some reason held no appeal to me until now. If I'm lucky, it will be as beautifully written as this post.

    Congratulations on turning the corner. That's a huge accomplishment. I take my hat off to you.

    As for the movie-- Ekkk, the reviews are terrible ;-(

    Keep up the good work, jj

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  9. I have read that book....just purely wonderful....I so related to some of her tale....

    Lets hope we both find our 'Bali' Saz x

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  10. Sounds like a book I may be able to read. Like you I find it so difficult to read now but last year I did find a book I liked and then read that and the next one and the next. It is still sporadic now, I can only read if it's 'easy' reading and not depressing ( same with films) but I'm sure it will get better.
    I'm off to look up that book now. x

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  11. Not making an actual comparison but after my parents died within 3 moths of eachother I thought I had it all together ... except I was unable to commit to anything more than going to work and coming home and spending weekends beautifying™ and interacting with friends .. I could not make a decison about anything so I just floated along ... I couldnt read, not even magazines .. watch a movie? Listen to some music? Sure, as long as I wasnt depended on to choose ... its been almost 10 yrs and I have only in the last few begun to come back to 'myself' ... we all deal with separation, loss, betrayal in our own way in our own time ... I am so glad you've begun to come back to yourself ... xo

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  12. I loved it too = think it speaks volumes on lots of different levels - for me the search for inner peace resonated - not on the same level of "faith" as her, but it has been a search nevertheless. I told another friend to read it - the one newly diagnosed with breast cancer - amazing how it seems to reach lots of different sorts of traumas! V G to hear you are feeling stronger Lx

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  13. I've been away from blogland for a while and am just starting to catch up on my reading. So sorry to hear of all you've been through since my last visit, but I love, love, love, your new blog title and I also very much enjoyed the book--which I listened to on audio.
    Hang in there. You're going to bounce back just fine.

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  14. I stopped reading for a few years after my break up, I just couldn't focus enough. I only really started again in the last two year. That film looks good, I'll have to find the book.

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  15. No matter what I will think of the book or the movie, I will always remember that you found new strength from it, and that makes it spectacular.

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  16. Gosh. The idea of not being able to read anything. That is really terrifying. It must be worse than not being able to eat or sleep, because everyone has experienced those as consequences of disturbance, and doctors can prescribe a short-term crutch, but not being able to read? There's no easy pill. SO glad you have found a way through.

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  17. Dear Saz,
    I know where you are coming from.
    It took me more than four years to be able to read again, at least sometimes (only fiction, poetry and non-fiction books were what I clung too even in the darkest days). I did not go on a journey, I only tried to find one beautiful thing each day to see and capture. It filled my life with pleasure again. I am still struggling, but I feel I am finally on the journey to myself.
    I see you are too, I send you all my best wishes, and bon voyage!

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  18. Saz, I just read your comment on another person's blog where you said your daughter chose to stay with her father. (This would have killed me. And the part about her cancelling you on your birthday, unbelievable cruelty). And you moved out with your son. Would it have been absolutely impossible for you to stay in the family home and wait for him to move out?
    I just say this because I was lucky enough several years ago, when in a similar situation, to be given advice by two people. One, was Fay Weldon, not direct to me but in a newspaper article, said never leave the family home. The other one was my darling daughter, who had already left home, and she said the same thing, don't leave the family home.
    So I didn't and we got over things and are still, somehow, hanging in there together.

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  19. anonymous!...l left because he refused to leave and insisted l did, after taking advice, I left within 3 weeks....the house was rented and we had been there less than a year..having moved twice in two years...so it wasnt a home in that sense, but l understand where you are coming from..l utterly concur....if my daughter had not chosen, nothing would have made me move...ironically now they are apparenty ytalking of downsizing and she is thinking about living with a friend...

    all change!!!

    thanks for your kind words, whoever you are!!

    saz x

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  20. Saz - the hype over this movie has been unbelievable over here - what a turnoff. I'm not the biggest Julia Roberts fan at any rate, but most likely will not see this movie. I may pick up the book at some point, though.
    I, too, have always been a voracious reader. When my first husband died - over 20 years, now - I could not read at all for a few months; when I started reading again I devoured biographies and autobiographies. They were the only genre I could tolerate. Of course I was escaping my own life and living through others, although as obvious as that seems now, I didn't see it for a long time. xo best of luck to you and stay strong, happy days ahead.
    Susan

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  21. MY WIFE enjoyed that book very much. I haven't read it yet.

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  22. Pleased to hear you are making progress.

    Apologies I should have got my act together as I ended up in Carlise two weekends back - we were in Gretna for my brothers wedding and "called in" for a couple of hours rushing around to look at the Cathedral and Castle.

    Lovely city... my daughter is considering going to college there... since "the shops are nice". I thought you picked your college based on the course you wanted to do and the quality of the teaching there, clearly not in her case :-)

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  23. I tried to share your blog on Facebook, but all I got was a reference to your comments. You need to look at how that share bar is placed.

    (I know, you can't even read books.)

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  24. I am the "Anonymous" of Aug 19, 8:41 AM -
    the next "Anonymous" is a different person.
    I shall sign with an M from now on.
    M.

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  25. I like the trailer. I can almost taste the popcorn.

    Madame Queen wrote an interesting post - even when things seem to be crashing down around us, the story isn't over. I wonder what the future holds and I send you my very best wishes that you'll be ready for it.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x