Monday, February 21, 2011

Making Sense of the Squiggles

I was very inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's talk on TED when I first saw it in Feb 2009. This blog has become something of a log of my study of happiness, creativity and passion. Her talk seemed to touch on all of this, and so I eagerly got her book, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

This is not normally a book I would have stumbled across. It is firmly in the 'Chic Lit' category, and was sitting on the bedside table of almost all the women I knew, and not a single guy. But if I learnt anything from the chap who got me started writing on this site (former blogger Mutt), it was to search out books I wouldn't normally read.

On first read, I was hooked and I got one of my favourite quotes:

'Happiness is the consequence of personal effort'
My enjoyment faded somewhat as I struggle to reconcile the decision she had made with the real world impact it had on others. So, I wasn't sure whether I really wanted to read the follow up, 'Committed'. Well... I read it, and did enjoy it. Here is how she describes the exact thing that gave me uneasiness about the first book.

'When the dust has settled years later, we might ask ourselves, "What was I thinking?" and the answer is usually: You weren't. Psychologist call that state of deluded madness "narcissistic love." I call it "my twenties".
I guess we are all just trying to figure it out, and there are casualties along the way. The question is, do we really wish for simpler times? Times when you lived where you were born, did what your Dad did, and spent your time with the people from the village. At times I think I would like that, but I also think it is impossible.

When you first see writing, it might just be squiggles. But once you know how to read, no matter how hard you try you will never be able to just see squiggles again.

Its not easy, but I think it is worth making sense of the squiggles.
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