Eat Pray Love

I feel like I’m catching up with an old very good friend who’s been away adventuring. You know, the friend when you first met felt like you’d known each other forever? The friend who’s been away for years but you sit down and begin chatting and it’s like you were never apart and just pick up the conversation where you left off.

I don’t normally share my personal reading material on the blog but I’m making an exception here because I think you will enjoy this book, find a new friend, and share thoughts with someone who’s art is in creating pictures of environments and stories with words.

Meet my new friend Elizabeth Gilbert.

I met Liz (figuratively) while listening to an interview with her on NPR about her book, Eat, Pray, Love. That night I asked my wife to order up a copy for my Kindle. I just knew immediately that I would enjoy it. I think you will too.

Shared Words from the Book

During the radio interview Liz read a couple passages from her book. I’d like to share a taste of her writing style so you can get excited and find a new friend, if you haven’t already.

“The amount of pleasure this eating and speaking brought to me was inestimable, and yet so simple. I passed a few hours once in the middle of an October night that might look like nothing so much to the outside observer, but which I will always count amongst the happiest in my life. I found a market near my apartment, only a few streets over from me, which I’d somehow never noticed before. There I approached a tiny vegetable stall with one Italian woman and her son selling a choice assortment of their produce – such as rich almost algae-green leaves of spinach, tomatoes so red and bloody they looked like a cow’s organs, and champagne-colored grapes with skins as tight as a showgirls leotard…

“I walked home to my apartment and soft-boiled a pair of fresh brown eggs for my lunch. I peeled the eggs and arranged them on my plate beside seven stalks of the asparagus (which were so slim and snappy, they didn’t need to be cooked at all). I put some olives on the plate, too, and the four knobs of goat cheese I’d picked up yesterday from the formaggia down the street, and two slices of pink, oily salmon. For dessert-a lovely peach, which the woman had given to me for free and which was still warm from the Roman sunlight. For the longest time I couldn’t even touch the food because it was such a masterpiece of lunch, a true expression of the art of making something out of nothing. Finally, when I had fully absorbed the prettiness of my meal, I went and sat in a patch of sunbeam on my clean wooden floor and ate every bite of it, with my fingers, while reading my daily newspaper article in Italian. Happiness inhabited my every molecule.”

From further in the book in the India section…

“The truth is, I don’t think I’m good at meditation. I know I’m out of practice with it, but honestly I was never good at  it.I can’t seem to get my mind to hold still. I mentioned this once to an Indian monk, and he said, “It’s a pity that you are the only person in the history of the world to have this problem.” Then the monk quoted to me from the Bhagavad Gita, the most sacred ancient text of Yoga: “Oh Krishna, the mind is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.”

“When I ask my mind to rest in stillness, it is astonishing how quickly it will turn (1) bored, (2) angry, (3) depressed, (4) anxious or (5) all of the above. Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the “monkey mind” – the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl.”

I hope you enjoy this read as much as I have. As this Sunday Photo/Art quote often explores a slightly different path to creativity, may this inspire you to better photography as I believe it has me… Well written words create pictures in the mind. I think having more pictures in your mind enables you to create better images.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob