Challenge: Read Gilbert with Me?

January 11, 2010

Today I’m running to the bookstore to get Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage.

Given my line of work, friends have been sending me links to Gilbert interviews and of course I am gobbling it up. Her previous book Eat, Pray, Love was a great escape for me when I first started dealing with my post-divorce battle. Problem was, I was raising 2 teenage daughters totally on my own and reinventing myself through travel was totally out of the question. My adventure was finding a way to feed, clothe, and shelter us while dealing with braces, school books, drivers’ ed and my darlings roar for independence. A “romantic” segue way out, and into a new life, was not a possibility as my daughters were mine 24/7.

I’ve been more like Gilbert’s grandmother’s story, minus the cleft palette:

Interviewer: You tell a story in the book that is pivotal for you, about your grandmother. She was born with a cleft palate and thought to be unmarriageable, so she got an education and took care of herself, one day rewarding herself with a $20 fur-trimmed, wine-colored coat, which she adored. Eventually she does marry. And when she gives birth to her first daughter, she cuts up the coat to make something for the child.

Gilbert:That’s the story of motherhood, in a large way. You take the thing that is most precious to you, and you cut it up and give it to somebody else who you love more than you love the thing. And we tend to idealize that, and I’m not sure we should. Because the sacrifice that it symbolizes is also huge. Her marriage and her seven children, in a life of constant struggle and deprivation — it was heavy. And that beautiful mind, that beautiful intellect, that exquisite sense of curiosity and exploration, was gone. Excerpted from Lucy Kaylin’s interview.

However, unlike Gilbert’s grandmother, I plan to enjoy the autumn of my life reviving the free spirit with lots of dreams. Soon my daughters will be launched and mine will be a fresh start at a most advanced age. Hopefully, I’ll at least have some wisdom going for me.

So, are you up to reading Committed with me and sharing your thoughts? Let me know if you want to join my virtual book club. Hope that’s a yes!


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