Thursday, August 19, 2010


I read the book, well actually listened, twice, driving this way and that to Denver and Las Vegas this summer. I find reading books I might not agree with...well, interesting and Eat, Pray, Love, is definitely interesting.
It is a book about a women, who basically does a one- eighty on everything domestic- her husband, the plan to have children, her entire life.
Contrary to the movie, if you haven't read the book- she came to this realization during an artist's friends open house- scheduled just weeks after the artist gave birth- so for Elizabeth- it was the image of the artist, literally leaking breast milk through her cocktail dress and trying to take care of her newborn -trying to sell her art in her home, with her unhelpful husband that was the turning point for Elizabeth Gilbert-- who had many a panic attack in her bathroom- before she broke away from her life.
Yes she ate pasta in Italy, amongst sexy Italians, and then searched her soul in India, but the end result for her and now what I would bet many a lonely woman are now holding on to across the country, making their own pilgrimages to see the movie, with copies of the book on their nightstand- is that just maybe, oh maybe- the universe that desperately wants to throw out good things to all who ask- might after a year of self discovery, give all who ask their own sexy, romantic, already had children and neutered Brazilian who wants nothing more than to worship the ground you walked on, sing your praises and meet your every desire.
Now there is a dose of reality for ya!
On a side note, just read this morning that her husband who was so horribly portrayed in the film- actually took his own journey of healing and discovery- traveling to third world countries and did humanitarian work. Elizabeth did email all her friend and raised enough money to build a needy friend in Indonesia a new home.
Do I think Elizabeth Gilbert should not of chosen the life she did- of course not. Or that she should of not changed her mind midstream- not for me to judge. I hope the best for her- she is a gifted writer and speaker and obviously I enjoy reading her work.
But, my whole philosophy of life apparently runs opposite of hers- I am a wife, going on twenty years, I am a mother, going on seventeen, I am an artist and I am a writer and yes I have given up things, not done things, not gone places both literally and figuratively because of is the thing I think Elizabeth decided she did not want- commitments.
Before I got married, I had dreams of Paris, and art, New York and publishing, or LA and flim- and frankly I think I could of done well- been successful- but where am I?
I am in sagebrush and red dirt, living where the man I love- grew up, raising his children and tolerating his aging father who lives next door and often smells like the horse and often track mud into my house. But, now with my girls older and in less need of me, I am trying to stretch as far as I can towards LA and New York, and do something else , express myself somehow.
It all reminds me of a long time ago, when daughter #1 was just a baby and we decide to go camping- and we took all the baby gear we could fit in our jeep and headed to the mountains. Well, apparently we decided we needed something else, so stopped in a grocery store in Telluride, Colorado and I ran in, while they waited in the car.
It was surreal, me walking down an aisle as a women my age came towards me. She looked at me and I looked at her- frosted blonde hair, perfectly applied makeup, a white slip dress, high heeled shoes- we passed each other- me thinking, "who the heck comes to the grocery store looking like that?", I could tell she was also questioning me, though it was not until I headed to the grocery store restroom, that I realized that still nursing, I was engorged and my sweatshirt was soaked with breast milk.
Yes, I was probably the epiphany for another woman's decision Not to have children!
But for me- motherhood is the great gift and the great act I can do on this earth. It is the greatest privilege I have- to literally create life inside me. My arms still sometime ache, wishing to hold my babies again.
Yes, women have been beat up throughout history, entrapped in lives they did not want- I quoted little Lucy- in my previous blog- who at a young age defined her fate as a wife in how many tiny stitches she would have to put in her future husband's coat and pantaloons.
The few post before that is Rapunzel, saving herself, not needing a prince. An interesting fact in Eat, Pray,Love is that apparently Elizabeth had never gone more than two weeks, without being involved with a man and she had the tendency to morph into whoever she was with and lose herself.
Something we as women can do- easily- but I just think it is time to celebrate what makes us unique as woman- we are creators of life, nurtures and often more connected to the spiritual and emotional worlds, while also celebrating what makes men unique as well in their bravery and strength, their ability to focus and ability to protect to their own deaths. The steadiness they can give us- Jon is my rock, I call him a glacier- but he allows me to go here and there because I am always anchored to him.
I could never raise my girls without him- to be complete - they need the attributes he gives them- fathers are NOT a optional accessory, contrary to a lot of well known actress who are fueling the $%#$# idea they can do motherhood on their own.
It is the coming together of the separate but equal enmities that is....sorry for those that think the universe just spits out good things.... what God intended.
Nurturing and Protecting- the heart and the head- these are the attributes of God- which are brought forth in Male and Female.
But I digress..
I just hate this "polarization" we do in America- Eat, Pray, Love is an extreme solution to what many, many women struggle with, feeling like they are trapped in a life, with hopes and desires they might never realize.
I had a heart to heart with a friend not that long ago- who feels imprisoned by her life, but unlike Elizabeth, having children and no book deal to fund it, she did not have the freedom to travel the world to figure things out.
We didn't solve her conundrum- but each having daughter- we agreed they needed the freedom to come into their own, do a little exploring both literally and figuratively before making their own decision about what they wanted out of life.
I am not going lie- I hope for my daughters that includes being a mother and a wife...eventually.


  1. Great post, I was nodding so much, I have a neck ache, haha!
    I only discovered myself and my abilities during my journey towards motherhood. My children inspire me and have helped create the woman I am today.
    For people who want to travel the World to discover themselves then that's fine and who am I to say otherwise. But for those who live 'normal' lives, it's still possible to find ourselves, our abilities and what makes us so special. It may not be so easy and may take a little longer, but the reward is just as great :)

  2. Yes, to your post, and Yarrow's response. It may take longer, but I'd postulate that the reward can be even *greater* given how we are so expanded by our relationships with spouses and children...

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am terribly terribly slow at blog reading at the moment given what I am juggling (homework, garden, family-stuff, the new book I'm illustrating, etc..) - but I appreciate your comments!

    Your art is *lovely* also. Love the tactile quality of it.

  3. Julia -
    I so agree with your lovely post about this book and film. I have shared much of the same journey you have with a loving marriage and now grown children. I sometime wonder who I might have become if I had moved to Santa Fe and become an artist as I had earlier planned.

    I wish I could have met you while we were both enjoying the film festival. But I feel as if I know you thanks to the joy of blogging.

    I hope you artistic journey continues and is rich and rewarding!