From Linda’s opinion page: She is definitely in the news. I’ve watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah twice now and found myself stirred by Gilbert’s eager and more than passionate delivery when asked a question about or to elaborate on the experience of writing her book, “Eat, Pray, Love.” The excited state of the audience during both shows was off the charts, spinning my head to a place that wanted to know and understand what I could be missing. At this point I had not read the book, but found it interesting to realize there are so many people (especially women in this case) who experience their lives as lacking and unfulfilled; ready to drop everything and fly to Italy, India or Indonesia to find themselves or just a small perfect piece that would make the puzzle of who they are whole. Listening to the women who shared their similar stories, I realized they were waiting for some kind of permission “to be.” I don’t live in a well, so I’ve always known there are types of personalities, male or female, who have a little trouble being assertive and can be quite passive or submissive in nature much to their detriment, but the number, after following the aftermath of this author, I’ve found to be overwhelming. I guess we haven’t progressed as far as I thought we had. Elizabeth Gilbert, an excellent writer and story teller, has surely become an effective pied piper for an eager trail of confused, fractured or wanting women. After I read the book, I appreciated the raw emotion she chewed through to free herself and can understand how others in a similar knot will follow her lead. I also, more importantly, found that I’m not confused, fractured or wanting, BUT if I were, I’m sure I could gain twenty to thirty pounds enjoying great forkfulls of food right here in the USA, my spiritual essence could be nourished in my own back yard, and I’ve always believed love comes to those who love. Of course that’s all based on “Bergman-Althouse” experience and philosophy. So, I’m flexible enough to understand the need to do whatever it takes to reach our own contented and fulfilled place. I just hope that while reaching for the greener grass, women, who’ve been influenced by the hype and their own romantic fantasies, won’t leave behind budding and fertile relationships, careers and environments they could come to regret. Yes, Virgina, in truth, life has it’s regrets. I extend my New Year’s wish of creativity and courage for all those who need to release what is no longer meaningful in their lives. I’m not done. How about a little patience and tenacity that will enable you to hang on to what’s most important in your life and make it work for you? “Eat, Pray, Love” is an inspirationally well written book with a great title that can be practiced and lived whether you are confused, fractured or not. Those of you who are (and I pray the numbers are less than it seems), GO FOR IT! with any motivation that sticks.
HAPPY 2008 TO EVERYONE!!!!!
Author of “Save Them All“