Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eat, Pray, Blog?

David and I are headed to Key West tomorrow, and as my friend Laura noted, “Blog material for years.”

Somehow I think Laura knows something about Key West that I don’t -- I’m thinking Hemingway House? the Dry Tortugas? museums about Conquistadors? cigars? abandoned Hawk missiles from the Crisis of 1962? Topless beaches? and maybe, just maybe some piracy? Am I gonna be surprised?


I’ll take pictures….

I haven’t blogged in a week -- life has been sluggish… all that rain, some good books, and I found myself close to home, and doing what I do. Tallulah is getting big and bad. Keats has mastered the left paw in Tallulah’s face. Tallulah has mastered the forward body slam into the philodendron.

Meanwhile ….

My nephew told a friend of mine that “Aunt Harriett’s blog is not a blog; I don’t know what it is.”

When I asked him about it -- he said, “When I think of blogs, I think of someone’s thoughts on medicine, politics, or religion. Your blog is not a blog -- I don’t know what it is, but it is not a blog. I’ll give it this -- it’s stylized."


So what is my blog?

Wingate: It’s a journey. When you read your blog, you go on a journey with you. …like riding in the car beside you and listening to you talk.

Jess: I hope it’s the start of some short story writing. I hope it’s the start of something.

Shelley: It’s like being in your classroom, but better, No essays, no note-taking, just listening….

Pam: I just hear your voice. I hear you telling that story.

Me: Hmm. So what am I doing? Let me know, readers, other than my nephew, if you know what this is… meanwhile……

About this book….

I have heard from a lot of my friends, and I read reviews, but the bottom line was that I needed to read this book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

So I read it.

I liked it.

Gilbert’s work weaves a combination of travelogue, self-discovery, soul searching, and cultural information as she takes a year off from her life and visits Italy, India, and Bali to recover from a nasty, emotional divorce.
I found her contemplation of divinity, what is true happiness, and her clear description of people, food, and places a good read -- but not a fast one. She‘s a gifted writer - she knows how to connect with her readers by expressing her insecurities, her inability to sometimes get “divinity“ as others seem to, and her frankness with her struggles and setbacks.
When I started the work, I was taken a little aback by her pursuit of her “guru,” but she won me over by the end. I admire her for her gumption, her recovery, and her ability to sort out what really matters by the end. I think what she got to do is what a lot of us would like to do -- but we don’t because we can’t afford it, don’t have the necessary connections, or we have too many commitments and responsibilities here. I always think of the human nature in me, maybe in all of us, to run away when life gets tough. Gilbert gets to -- and it looks like it made her able to come back… and start anew….

Bruce Springsteen sang clearly about our innate desire to sometimes walk away from our stressful lives in “Hungry Heart…”

I always loved that song -- :)

I keep a reading journal for myself; I record lines, phrases, commentaries from writers that make me ponder -- Gilbert doesn’t really tell anything new -- she just puts it all together well.

Here are a few from her novel that I loved:

“We can only see ourselves in still water not running water.”

“If we truly knew all the answers in advance to the meaning of life, the nature of God, and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity -- it would just be a prudent insurance policy.”

“Happiness is a consequence of personal effort. You have to participate in the manifestation of your own blessings -- you have to maintain it.”

Word. Gilbert. Word.

See you guys in a week.


  1. No, I will see you in the morning. Push on. The trannys (trannies?) are waiting by the wading pools on Duval Street.

  2. Your blog is simply a journey into your mind and your thought process. Sometimes the journey is scary, but it's always entertaining. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Is the cat pictured Tallulah?

    Have fun at Key West! I hope the rain won't follow to there.

  4. I tell David about the trannies and the wading pool. :)

    Thanks for helping out with defining my blog, Edie. Cuz, I was worried.... :)

    Jessica -- that's Tallulah -- isn't she big? She's gonna be so much bigger than Keats. I don't think Keats is ever gonna let Tallulah know that though...

  5. How do you remember what I said? Cause I don't! Say hi to Key West for me - it really is one of my fave spots! It is so liberal and disorganized!

  6. Have a cold one at Sloppy Joe's for me!

  7. It's storytelling.

    It's laughter.

    It's recollecting and reminiscing.

    It's possibly connecting with someone over something so random, so obscure, you never thought it possible.

    It's sharing a part of the world with some who may never see it any way other than through your eyes.

    It's brilliance.

  8. Hey Mrs. G.
    Hope retirement is treating you well :)
    Do you have an email you check so I can send you all my life stories from college?? No, but really I just wanted to catch up. Haha.

    I regret to say I do not read your blog religiously, but on the occasion I do benefit from seeing the latest post, I smile. It's a warm reminder of the times I got to hear your stories, jokes, and literary references every morning.


  9. Aw. Pam. Muah.... how nice of you to say that..

    Caitlyn -- I do have an email I check all the time. I'd love to hear from you. Let's see -- now how do we communicate that......? I don't want to put it on the blog. I know -- email --- one of your old teachers at KMHS and ask them for the email. Okay?

    Captain Jay: I had a cold one at Sloppy Joe's -- I'm amazed the Hemingway walked home from there. I bet he took a cab. :)

  10. I can't believe you don't have your email on this blog!

    I'm glad you're home, and I love my postcard that arrived today. You are a woman of few words: "It's hot. We went to the Hemingway house. They lie about him more than I did in my classroom. Share that with my former students. It's hot."

    Now, get back to the blog. We need stories.