It’s funny when what you’re reading crosses over into other aspects of your life. I was conversing last night with someone I hadn’t seen in a bit, and the topic turned to spirituality, which led me to recommend the book I had just finished reading during my morning commute that very day.

I’m not a spiritual person. I sometimes wish that I was, but the reality is that I lack at present the internal need or thirst for that in my life. I’ve kept the door open, with the thought that perhaps there will come a time when that does come up for me. But I know at present that my relationship with any form of a higher power is one of extraordinarily sporadic, one-sided conversation. I’m generally asking for favors. Many of them involve wins for my baseball team. And that just seems awfully selfish and something that misses the general point.

But I did just read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, which made me wish that I operated differently. Gilbert is an engaging writer, one who, even as she describes severe, soul-crushing depression, manages to explain the severity of her situation in a way that makes you smile. Or at least get it. She is a writer you want to know in real life because she’d just be fun to talk to.

The book largely focuses on one year, in which Gilbert travels to Italy (to seek pleasure), India (to seek enligtenment and a deeper connection to God) and Indonesia (for things that I don’t want to give away). The theme throughout is finding a sense of self through a sense of God. And she makes it seem as if it’s possible for anyone to go through such a transformation: one simply needs a catalyst and a conviction. A book deal and an advance also helps, as it allows someone to travel around the world for a year, but hey.

“If you want to learn about one woman’s search for God, this is the book you want to read.” With those words, I realized and appreciated the fact that I’m reading as voraciously as I currently am. I don’t often have conversations that involve God as a topic; it feels good to be able to add something of merit to the subject when it does come up.

Other than, obviously, the fact that I felt like someone was listening when I sent up a cry for help and a miracle occurred.

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