There have been times where I just happen to buy, borrow, or be given just the right book at the just the right time when I’d enjoy it most. This time, the book is called Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I haven’t been doing much reading lately, mostly because I’ve been getting headaches before barely finishing a chapter. Pretty annoying for someone who loves to read as much as I do. Instead, using a credit generously given by my father-in-law, my husband downloaded the book for me from Audibles.com. Thanks to the ipod, now I can just sit (or lay) listening as the story unfolds, as the author’s voice transports me to Italy, and soon to India, and later to Indonesia.
I guess I should clarify my first paragraph a little, too. I have found this book to be very interesting so far, but not because I have any desire to divorce my husband, or because I want to put off having children (as the author writes). But because I am curious about her search, and her travels. In chapter nine, she notes “My truth was exactly as I told the medicine man in Bali – I wanted to experience both. I wanted worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence – the dual glories of a human life. I wanted what the Greeks called kalos kai agathos, the singular balance of the good and the beautiful.”
I found this idea to be so profound. Because in a way, that is what we all want to some extent (or maybe I’m just speaking for myself here) – to enjoy the pleasures of the world (a life full of good food, true love, travels, enriching experiences and happiness) and yet to also be enlightened, to have an understanding (religious or otherwise) but without giving up everything, to not have to be a beggar, or a monk, or to give up all our worldly possessions. I think we’d all like to achieve that sort of balance in our lives.