There are only a handful of books that I have read that I would call life changing. Well, not even one full hand. Three books. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Hand Wash Cold and, currently, Eat Pray Love.
Sometimes I get distracted reading a book when a name comes up that I can’t pronounce. Often, it’s the name of some recurring character and every time I read it I say it differently in my head than the previous time. I end up focusing on all the wrong things and read pages over and over until I retain what I’ve ingested. Maybe I’m a bit ADHD. Or maybe my concentration skills are just plain dismal.
I am gulping down all the deliciousness of Eat Pray Love at the moment, by listening to it read aloud on CD by the author. Elizabeth Gilbert has a voice I don’t tire of and I am absorbing her words like oil into the skin.
How is it that I never read this before now ? And how did I not even know what it was about ? It must be something akin to magic or serendipity or freakishly good timing. Whatever the reason, I am buried deeply into the folds of this story and I am blown away.
The Eat and Pray parts continue to be digested in head and heart. I’ll have lots to write about those later. Right now though, I am smack-dab in the middle of the Indonesian “love” chapters. I want my own Wayan.
Thursday morning I woke up with a deep ache in my left thigh. It feels like a bruise to the quad muscle that sits just to the left above my knee. I don’t remember an inury to it yesterday, but the short, steep trip I took up the side of the waterfall on Wednesday may have been the culprit. I am not entirely in my “summer hiking shape” just yet. I feel it in every step.
What would Wayan prescribe for that ? Boiled leaves into tea or the powder from smashed root ? Fire ? Ice ? And what about the heaviness of my heart some days – the way it feels like it has careened down a slippery gully with no branches to grab onto- nothing to slow down the descent ? What should I take for that ?
How about my painfully obvious awkwardness in groups ? What about the pea-size nodule on the inside bend of my right arm ? Or my skin hunger ? Is there a tincture or potion for that ?
Do I have to go to Bali to nudge my spirit closer to what cures it ? If so, I’ll do it. I’ll go. I’ll save every penny. I’ll stop buying journals and pens. I’ll swear off of gadgets. I’ll quit offering gifts to others that are beginning to feel like a tangled, long string of apology for who I am.
Who I am.
Do I even hear myself when I utter these words ? I am in need of help, to be sure. I need to stop apologizing for who I am and live unapologetically into the light that is my life.
I’m guessing that the Balinese have no word equivalent to “unapologetic”. It is who they are. How they live. “Doing everything as beautifully as they can”.
If my spirit is direct light then my practice must be that same light, diffused. I don’t know if I have that right, but I am leaning toward that visual with everything I’m worth. We can heal so much just by allowing some god-like thing to wrap around us like a blanket of light.
I need a Wayan of my own. Or a Liz. Not just to remind me why my joints are so painful and stiff. Not just to define the word soulmate or concoct magic out of all that grows, but to act like a mirror – let me see what it is I’m not seeing now when I look closely at my self and my life.
I am hard-wired to see things through to their natural conclusions. Like witnessing a spark leap into a full-on charge. I’m not sure exactly where this book is leading me, but the road is no longer narrowing. It has opened up, just ahead and I don’t need a road sign or a map to just keep moving forward …