Part Three in a Series
Looking back over my own life, I have often felt that the adult stage of it was a series of mid life crises.
Now that I am about one-fourth of my way through Eat, Pray, Love, I am not so sure I even knew what a mid life crisis really was.
I cannot help but think that surely some of the mental states that Elizabeth Gilbert describes in the book were exaggerated a bit for dramatic effect. If not, all I can say is, my own mid life crises were mere pieces of cake.
At times I find that Gilbert’s prose can be a bit overwrought. At others, I delight in the gems she tosses out. She is at her best when she informs . . . where rosary beads come from . . . what the Romans eat (I really had no idea that internal organs were a stable of their diet) . . . how the Italian language evolved . . .
My Portuguese Summer
Gilbert’s descriptions of Rome remind me of my own experiences living in the Portuguese city of Coimbra, where I spent two leisurely months three summers ago.
I, too, would spent the afternoon at a sidewalk cafe, trying to read one newspaper article a day. I, too, enrolled in a language course, finding myself in a level a bit more challenging than I had expected. I, too, took joy in listening to others speak the language – and attempting to speak it myself.
Eat, Pray, Love is reminding me why I like to linger when I travel rather than play the part of a tourist that is here today, gone tomorrow. I prefer to spend weeks rather than days in a place. I like to unpack my bags, put my things away, and pretend that I am living in a place – not just visiting it.
Eat, Pray, Love is also reminding me why I decided to spend most of my adult life living overseas.
Copyright: Michael Taylor
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