(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Monday, May 5, 2008

eat. pray. love.

I've just finished reading this book. The author takes a year out of life for herself after a bad divorce. The book has been out awhile and probably many of you have read it. I just want to share some beautiful prose about her time spent in Italy, focusing on pleasure. Fairly specifically - the pleasure of eating Italian food and learning to speak the lovely language.

Anyway, check out these descriptions of the food ... as I read, the items just sprang forth in my imagination, vivid and full of life. What's not to love about a woman who speaks so worshipfully about cuisine? Those who know me are aware of what a skeptical cynic I can be; but if I were going to worship anything, it would be the earth's bounty and those who create beauty from it.

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks of her foray into Bologna. She tells us that Bologna has been called "The Red, The Fat and The Beautiful. She loved the food there even better than in Rome. Here's an excerpt of her descriptive abilities:

"The mushrooms here are like big thick sexy tongues, and the prosciutto drapes over pizzas like a fine lace veil draping over a fancy lady's hat". In Lucca, she extols the virtues of "its celebrated butcher shops, where the finest cuts of meat I've seen in all of Italy are displayed with a 'you know you want it' sensuality in shops across town. Sausages of every imaginable size, color and derivation are stuffed like ladies' legs into provocative stockings, swinging from the ceilings of the butcher shops. Lusty buttocks of hams hang in the windows, beckoning like Amsterdam's high-end hookers."

Wow! She lit a fiery desire in me to fly immediately back and visit those shops...if only to flirt with the meat and produce!

So, fortunately, she covered the eat part first in the book because the pray and love part would have stopped me from starting. But her insights gleaned and shared from her 4 months in an Indian ashram were also ... interesting, if nothing else. Can I say I am now converted and off on a yogi-seeking pilgrimage? No. But I felt her passion and raw emotion in sharing her experiences which, in part, could only be described as mind and life altering.

The eat part was still my favorite. Her obvious love of Italy, the food and language, was so brilliantly conveyed as she wrote of her daily life there. I was transported.

If nothing else, she inspires one to take a chance on finding more from life. And of expecting more for and from oneself than the norms require.

If you are even somewhat curious, check out my "I Recommend" box to the right. You can purchase your own copy here! (shameless, aren't I?)

5 comments:

Stephanie said...

Hi there-

I'm a slacker blogger, but I noticed your comment in my blog. Where are we moving? Ah, Paris... The main attraction of leaving in/near paris is family...we have no family near us now and will have lots in paris. My husband's dream would be to live in/near the mountains, grenoble, par example.
Hubby leaves this Thursday and I am feeling stressed. It's becoming too real--The realtor's sign in the front yard, selling the car. It's all for the good cause, but suddenly i'm a single parent, at least for a couple of months.

I'm a manager at a fortune 500 company (satellite branch, but whatever) and I am ready to drop out now, but I've got to hang on at least for a little longer.

F.O.T. said...

i loved this book. A copy was given to me during a particular difficult time in my life. this was a few months ago. Still, today, I think about her story.

Je ne regrette rien said...

stephanie-take a risk and keep writing! don't let that childhood experience take away the opportunity to consider your transition through your written voice! Paris, eh? lovely!

f.o.t.-I'm certain the parts that I tend to deny (spirituality) are the ones I will go back and revisit. Her experiences in India were presented with such candor, it made it hard for me to retain my skepticism! I thoroughly enjoyed the book as well!

alisa said...

I wasn't that excited about this book. I had been through a divorce, and quit my high paying job, travelled for a year and then started a children's art school and now I'm taking a 1 year sabbatical. She didn't really inspire me so much...a lot of my friends who are married and mom's were very excited about this book I did like the eat part...that's about it though.

Je ne regrette rien said...

alisa-yeah, I read it because my friend asked me to check it out ... she spent a year in Venice and related to much of the book. Sounds like you could write your own book to inspire us all!