1.08.2008

digesting

Last night I finished reading this amazing book. I asked for it several long months ago in hopes that I would get it for Christmas. Sure enough, my sister remembered and gave it to me as a gift on Christmas day. I started reading it last week...and never could quite get it out of my hands. I would carry it around with me, hoping to grab a few moments here and there...those rare and spontaneous moments that sometimes magically appear...granting me a few minutes of whatever-the-heck-i-want-to-do time. And it happened. I would take those seconds and minutes and dedicate them towards allowing myself to be engulfed in this woman's story and journey. The book is full of enough delicious adventure for a woman like me to become enraged with envy upon reading her words. She basically begins to courageously seek her own peace and happiness through travel and intuition after reaching a place of despair and desperation in her own reality. She moves herself across Italy, India and Indonesia...with each location offering her transformation in unique and astounding ways. Quite literally, it is a life that allures me beyond explanation. But, reading her book didn't fill me up with that kind of energy at all. Yes, of course, I would love to be able to replace my name with hers on many of these pages...but that kind of longing didn't linger with me like the other things did. I was so inspired...and had this calming acceptance of what it is about this life that makes up for happiness, inner peace, balance. What lingered with me most was this motivation and energy to pay attention. To pay attention to my story and to keep my mind open...remembering that my soul is on an endless journey and there is a certain connectedness of life that whispers in my ear all the time with confidence and assurance. Like some inner wisdom already knows how it all turns out and there is no reason to worry and ache. Reading her book was like sitting down with my best friend in a quiet kitchen as she relayed the stories of her adventure with humor, love, wit and compassion. She had me crying, laughing, sinking into a familiar "i totally know what she is talking about" kind of thinking, and she even made me blush once or twice. To say that I loved this book would be quite the understatement. Last night, after I read the last page...I kept flipping through the book again...just making sure that it really was the end and that there weren't any secret compartments holding further inscriptions of her writing. And when I finally had to come to terms with that fact that I had indeed finished the novel...I was really sad. Sad in the way of having to leave a dear friend after a really wonderful visit. Her writing and her beliefs were so familiar to me and recognizable...there was so much that I totally understood about her passion and what moved her. It was so easy to sink in and be moved right along with her.
I keep thinking about the little inspirations left for me after reading this book. I keep journaling new ideas and thoughts that surface after a particular scene is replayed in my mind. I especially am thinking about the thoughts that we play over and over in our minds. The ones that we unconsciously begin to believe and then treat them like they are the doctrine of our lives...our mantras. I keep thinking about the ones that I play over and over to myself and how, with a conscious effort to alternate those mantras ( so easy to write about but quite another thing to carry to completion)...so much more possibility is open to us.
These are all things I have known with my mind for so long...the lessons of meditation, the transformation that comes when we change our thought, the calm that comes with actively seeking divine wisdom, etc and beyond. For some reason, this book just wrapped it up nicely and presented it all in a warm, familiar and enticing book. I guess in a really soft way, I was reminded of where I want to be in my own personal journey and was given enough inspiration to start looking at the habits that I need to adapt or get rid of in order to take steps that lead me where I am going. I may not be capable of traveling in the physical sense to places like Italy or India or Indonesia at the moment...but I surely can't allow a little thing like geography to disengage my soul in it's own exploration of life and meaning and peace and happiness.
I ate it, prayed it, and loved it all up...and I am still enjoying the consequences of that.

13 comments:

Nonnie said...

beautiful, jessamyn. i love that it was so satifying and inspirational to you. i have seen it and heard about it....but now i must read it too! your dad goes through that same sadness when he is finishing a much cherished book...he lets me know he's resisting the end of the journey!

daisies said...

i felt the same way reading it ... her words speak such truth for all of us no matter where we are on our personal journeys or how those journeys look : ) i read it almost a year ago now, perhaps it is time for a re-read, tee hee ...

this was a beautiful post jessamyn, just beautiful! xox

ceanandjen said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and insightful thoughts after reading this book...I believe that you can not read it and not be touched. To take that a step further, it is altering, it really is. I am so glad that you were gifted this for Christmas...it will stay with you forever.

xoxoxo

cassie said...

i HAVE that book and am just waiting to read it. i just finished a book called "the red tent" which is wonderfully delicious and hard to part with.

amanda said...

A book adventure like this is just what I need. I keep hearing such wonderful things about it! I loved your review of here--there are many books I wish really did have secret compartments holding more of the story. I think I need to put my name on the library wait list for this.

Debbie said...

I love how you describe the world you experience. I have heard a lot about this book, you make me want to run out right now and get it!

Auntie Vee said...

I'm thinking I saw the author in an interview on TV. Now I'm doubly inspired to get the book.

Rick Hamrick said...

In order to keep the book from disappearing into "already read that" territory too quickly, I use it as my reading material when I ride the exercise bike.

It makes the bike ride go almost too quickly, which is a great consequence, and it has made the book last me a couple of months.

I'm on the home stretch now as she is getting near the end of her time in Indonesia, and I wonder what the heck I will do for a workout read next! Maybe I'll just start it from page 1 again...

Harris Family said...

I've just started it too, I'm wishing I had so much more time to read it too! I'm loving what I've got through so far!

bella said...

"To pay attention to my story and to keep my mind open...remembering that my soul is on an endless journey and there is a certain connectedness of life that whispers in my ear all the time with confidence and assurance."

I've been doing a good bit of this myself lately. And it feels GOOD.
It is a kind of rest, contentment, release, just knowing that we already possess the wisdom we seek.

this post made me feel full and alive and like I want to go for a long walk and let it all sink in, once again, digest this food that nourishes.

Jme said...

Obviously this is something I'm missing out on. :) Looks like I get to go to Barnes & Noble!! :)Im so glad you enjoyed this story so deeple and affectedly. Sounds like something to keep with you as you move about your days.

Karen said...

A beautiful response, and so true. We don't have to go anywhere else to eat, pray and love. We don't have to throw away anything. We just have to notice where we are. There is nowhere else anyway.

Sara said...

I too have wanted to read this book, and have been waiting for the time to do it. So I am taking it on our cruise, so I can truly digest all the words...