I’m listening to the audio version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s eat, pray, love.
I KNOW, it’s another Oprah book. And if you must know why I’m listening to the audio book, it’s because I accidentally reserved the CD version instead of the paperback at the library. But it’s nice to listen rather than have to do the work for a change.
It’s a different self-help book than the others though. It’s about this woman’s travels to 3 countries after a 2 year episode of a painful divorce and consequential heartbreak.
I don’t know why but as I listened to Chapter 7 I thought of how life happens in patterns of lows and highs, valleys and peaks. And I remembered the Edgefest concert in 2001, when my friend Gail and I were being bruised and shoved from all sides by fellow moshers. It’s funny because it doesn’t always feel like you’re being hit, sometimes you can be standing and watching the band and suddenly a wave of people will push you back against the sweaty chests of others until you can get balance back on your two feet again.
When we were pushed back like a wave hurtling us back to shore, Gail was knocked down to the ground and people were stepping on her helplessly. She made the loudest scream I’ve ever heard her make, and I thought for sure she would get hurt. But in the 3 seconds that it happened, it was like I was thinking in slow motion, and I remembered that these crowds move in waves, and even though I could not for the life of me pick her up from the 6-10 feet she was under then, I would wait for the wave to move back and pull her up. And that’s exactly what I did.
I was thinking that life moves a lot like waves.
Sometimes we’re underneath the surface, and can’t help ourselves or be helped no matter how loud we scream. But there is momentum in the universe. If we are open to it and believe, then there is a good chance that wave will subside and let us breathe and live again. It took Elizabeth Gilbert 2 years to get out of her rut; I can only think how lucky I am to not have had the experiences she did, but even if I did or even if mine were worse, like many people’s out there, it will be ok because life will always move in waves.