It was almost surreal.
When my Book Club facilitator suggested we read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love for May, I was astounded. I did scout for it, happy to have a reason to go back to it, and the book club members were also fascinated when they heard my story of how I came about this book back in 2009.
Eat Pray Love, is my Bible. Rather my initial copy of the book was, with highlighted paragraphs, markings and notes scribbled on every page. I had to leave that copy in Australia due to baggage allowances, but I picked up another one a year ago, and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust ever since.
Way back in 2009, in the throws of a tumultuous marriage, robbed of all sense of worth and self, I walked into a bookshop, looking for direction. I have been a book-lover ever since I could read, and always felt books hold answers to your questions in life. Sometimes, a mere sentence in a whole sea of words can be enough to change the trajectory of your life.
But there I was, feeling lost in the multitude of books. It was like I had waded into an ocean trying to identify with one single wave, but nothing connected. Even my all time favorite and relied upon authors (Paulo Coelho, Stephen King –OK no answers in his book, but you know what I mean– Deepak Chopra) had nothing to offer. I just stood there, lost, with a blank look on my face, even more depressed that I was incapable of selecting a single title among thousands.
Suddenly, I heard a voice: “You need that Book. That is the book you should read”. Of course I didn’t believe it at first, dismissing it as some figment of my imagination. But then I felt a pressure on my right shoulder and an arm outstretched pointing to a book on the shelf – Eat Pray Love. I turned to look at the source of the voice and owner of the arm, and no, it wasn’t a ghost, it was a real human. A woman, clad in white, called Billa. I even remember her name. (It was only in the few conversations that I later had with her, that I discovered that she was a Reiki Master and Spirit Guide – works with Angels, which made sense of how she probably picked upon my energies that day in the bookshop).
Anyhow, I took her word, and her number, and we parted way, strangers now acquainted, with an assurance that if I just need to talk, she would be there to listen.
Fast forward to the evening of 23rd April 2016, I came home and got my new copy off the shelf, dusting it, but unable to open it. Call me crazy, but books do have their own energies, and somehow mine were just not syncing.
I was anxious. I had this whole feeling of agitation about reading the book again. Skeptic even, about whether the book will give of itself once again, or will it take this time round?
Back in 2009, struggling with loathsome marriage, as I turned the pages, Elizabeth Changed my life. Dramatically. The striking similarities in our lives struck more chords than ever. We were both in long term marriages, we were both in our thirties, and we both wanted out but were unsure of why or how. (Seven months late, I too walked out of my marriage, and was also engulfed in a bitter divorce battle that took away everything from me, and in the times that followed I kept referring to the marked pages and highlighted paragraphs for encouragement).
The book gave me a sense of belonging, a bearing, an inner strength to fight for my self-worth and image.
Today, I’m a much different Alia than I was back then. I have evolved, become stronger and whole again, and better equipped to deal with life. And now, meeting this book again, at a stage where I am again at a crossroads has me perturbed.
Where is this book going to lead me? I already know my favorite parts in the book by-heart, but they don’t resonate with me much at this point in life. Will it have new insights to offer? I guess I shall just have to read on to find out.
They say that your experiences do not allow your mind to return to where it came from. And, if you must know, I was finally “able” to unwrap the book 2 days later, once I had these thoughts/feelings out. I suppose my anxiety was causing an energy block. Thus this post was somewhat necessary to clear our the negativity and attune with its energies.
Do keep an eye for the Book Review. But more than my experience, I am very eager to know what this book will bring to our Book Club Readers.