Monday, August 09, 2010
Thoughts in the Jurassic Age.....
I've been reading Eat, Pray, Love for the past week. It's been out for a while--five years--and Cathy lent it to me at least four years ago. She was full of enthusiasm for all sorts of things after reading it--going to an ashram, travelling to Italy--but for some strange reason, I couldn't get past the first few pages.
Last week, don't ask me why, I was looking for something to read, pulled it off the shelf, and haven't been able to put it down. Ordinarily I'm a very fast reader--it's nothing for me to read a whole book in one day. I don't want to go fast on this one, though. I want to savor it and think about it and marvel at the effect her spirituality has had on her.
I mean, spirituality! Spirituality, I'm afraid, has completely eluded me. Starting when I was about 14 or so, I gradually became very pious (after a childhood of low-grade naughtiness, which included raiding my older brothers' supply of cigars and sharing them with my friend Joanie. I was maybe 10, and she was 8). I started reading Thomas a Kempis's The Imitation of Christ and going to Mass every day. Then, at the age of 17, instead of going to medical school (which I'd wanted to do even before piety laid me low), I entered the convent. I lasted there for five years until I decided one day, while reading the Summa Theologica, that I did not HAVE to become a nun to save my soul. Whew.
Last night I wanted to see what Elizabeth Gilbert looked like, so I googled her website and found not only her picture, but this video recording of the talk she gave at TED last year.
Gilbert's spirituality and how it relates to her writing is powerful stuff for me. I meditated and practiced Yoga and went to daily Mass for years, but it all came to a screeching halt when I moved to DC almost 20 years ago. Don't ask me why. Now I'm in the Jurassics (the 70s), and I feel as spiritual as my favorite shoes.
Still, this book, and this very young woman (good god, she's only about 40!), fascinate me. Perhaps we really do revert to our childhood when we hit the high numbers. Is spirituality possible? It's always bothered me that I don't feel spiritual at all. Oprah harps on spirituality all the time, and I like Oprah--she's given up the fight with her weight. It's highly recommended for one's personal growth (gack....I can hardly write those words).