26 February 2008


So my friend April went to Spain over the past weekend (jet setter that she is) and brought me back this cool stuff!

A beautiful pitcher to add to my collection, so that when people are admiring all of them (which happens really often, as you can imagine) I can say, "Hey! That one's from Spain!"

And this amazing print of some Gaudi catherdral... which I plan to mat and frame and hang in our bedroom.

On a completely different and unrelated topic (and forgive the font switch... I'm tired of messing with the HTML formatter which rudely changes all your settings every time you blink)... I am currently reading _Eat Pray Love_, by Elizabeth Gilbert and find it maddening and fascinating all at the same time. In a nutshell, it's a chronicle of this woman's search for the ability to be constantly "in tune" with God, but without ever denying herself any wordly pleasure. Yeah... I find it really hard to read anything without writing all over it and making notes in the margins, so when she implored a Balinese medicine man to help her learn "how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God," my marginal response was, "NOT POSSIBLE, lady..."

Anyway, here are more of my thoughts on why I simultaneously love and hate this book.

The "eat" part of her journey is spent in (where else?) Italy, where her main goal is to learn the art of pursuing pleasure.

I LOVE how she describes the food:
(speaking of a place in Naples, the Pizzeria de Michele, which supposedly has the best pizza in the world) "They have only two varieties of pizza here -- regular and extra cheese."

And as if that right there wasn't enough to make me want to move there indefinitely...:

"[The crust is] soft and chewy and yielding, but incredibly thin. I always thought we only had two choices in our lives when it came to pizza crust--thin and crispy, or thick and doughy. How was I to have known there could be a crust in this world that was thin and doughy? Holy of holies! Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzeralla, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance, much the same way one shimmering movie star in the middle of a party brings a contact high of glamour to everyone around her. It's technically impossible to eat this thing, of course. You try to take a bite off your slice and the gummy crust folks, and the hot cheese runs away like topsoil in a landslide, makes a mess of you and your surroundings, but just deal with it."

Now I'm hungry.

On the flip side, though...

I don't go for all the religion/spiritualism = hocus pocus crap. I don't like the whole "I pray to the Divinity and I am the prayer and I am the Divinity" hoo-hocky. It just doesn't work for me. I like the thought of dwelling in God and God dwelling in me, but it doesn't make much sense to me to think that God and I are one being as in "the drop dwells in the ocean but the ocean also dwells in the drop" sort of thing. The way she puts it all just makes it seem sort of like, I couldn't exist without God, but God couldn't exist without me either.... and that just... ugh... sends chills up and down my spine. I guess I kind of see God as, of course, my creator and kind of like my boss (an ultimately loving boss, thankfully) who blesses me to let me do some things for Him and in His name, but Who I also know could accomplish it all without me or anybody else's help, ya know? I dunno... this got a whole lot deeper than I had intended.

I did find this interesting concept, though, which is still sort of in the spiritual line of thought, but more pertaining to temporal relationships:

She had been talking to a friend she met at the Ashram in India about how she believed that an ex-boyfriend of hers had been her soulmate and she's lost him and was now totally at a loss... and here's what her friend said (he calls her Groceries and her ex-guy's name is David):

"He probably was. Your problem is you don't understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go. It's over Groceries. "

His whole point was that the point of a "soulmate" (er... somebody you want to call a soulmate but didn't manage to end up with) is to break down some of your personal walls and show you how capable you are of loving and being loved.

I could expound more, but this is already long and ridiculous and I've gotta get ready to go to a proofreading party, so that's all for now...