Monday, November 29, 2010

on marveling.

Did you read Eat Pray Love?  I have to confess that I read most of it on various Barnes & Noble trips with a tasty latte in hand.  Sometimes, I don’t want to buy books, because I’d rather buy coffee, so on occasion, I read books that way.   Am I the only one?
I really enjoyed the book and how it inspired so many people.   I find great value in a piece of writing that moves the reader from getting lost in the pages to action.  When I heard that the book was being turned into a movie, I was excited, because I do love Julia Roberts, but I was also skeptical, because most of the time movies tend to lack the true qualities of the book.  In my opinion, Eat Pray Love was another example of this.
I watched it over the holiday weekend and while I enjoyed Julia and the beautiful scenes from all her travels,  it felt flat to me.  It was like icing on cake.  Icing is delicious, but you don’t really get the full potential of icing unless it’s on a  cake.  It’s the combination of the cake & icing that makes each part taste the best.  Occasionally, a spoonful of icing is just the ticket, but an entire story or movie of just icing is less than ideal, missing the substance of the cake.
In the entire film, there was only one line that stuck with me past the rolling credits.   Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) finds herself feeling empty and uninspired in her life.  She stands in her friend’s office and declares,
“I want to go somewhere where I can marvel at something. I don’t have anything to marvel at here.” 
I mean, yes,  I want to travel, like you wouldn’t believe.  I want to see the wonders of the world, but what is it that makes us think we have to go somewhere else to marvel at something?  What beauty is all around us that we are missing, because we have our eyes closed, thinking that beauty is only found elsewhere.  If you live your life just waiting for the right moment to marvel, you’ll miss an entire existence of things worthy of awe.
On the screen I saw someone whose life has fallen apart and become unrecognizable.  She evaluated her world and found nothing worthy of marveling.  My heart broke knowing that so many people would relate.  But, rather than feeling empty and a great desire to pack my suitcase, I felt a rich contentment as images flashed through my mind, one after another. 
Because, I marvel everyday.
at this…
and this…
and this too…
and especially this.
While that is enough goodness for one’s heart to burst open, there’s more marveling in…
The way the colors splash across the sky at sunset| the first taste of coffee every morning and afternoon| feeling my sweet baby moving inside of me | the glory that overwhelms as you stand before the ocean | dear friends | holiday cheer | laughing with my brothers and sisters | a perfectly written sentence | the magical sound of a violin | thunderstorms | softly falling snowflakes | mountains | inspiring people | garden fresh tomatoes | knowing that we don’t need to have all the answers | reveling in the mystery and wonder of God… and so much more.
To many people, my life would be simply and ordinary.  I don’t even have a passport to fill with stamps from my inspiring travels.  But truthfully, I’d rather have an everyday life full of marveling  than the occasional bit of wonder.
Maybe you need to board a plane to find what your missing or perhaps, what you’re looking for is right in front of you.  I hope you find it.
Have you marveled lately?


  1. oh i so agree! i haven't seen the movie yet, but reading the book, i felt so sorry for her. i couldn't understand why she needed to go on these extravagant travels and be so self-indulgent, when it's possible to find happiness in simple everyday things? icing without the cake is the perfect descriptiou.

  2. the only other scene that stuck with me besides the office scene (which was a good one) was where her boyfriend is talking about his love for his kids...those were "moments"...otherwise, the movie felt very flat to me too. and i did really enjoy the book, even while not fully understanding where she ended up...

    but to marvel. yes, that is the whole point in life. i find that when i am fully AWARE of everything around me and see the GOOD, i am such a happy and content person. to marvel can make all the difference!!!

    this post inspired me. thank you.


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