image from HSN.com Eat, Pray, Love collection
It's official, its been bastardized. I know, strong word. Probably at the end of writing this post, I will feel more open and embracing.
Months ago when I first heard that Eat, Pray, Love was being made into a movie, a part of me scowled and cringed. No, I thought, I don't want anyone else's images of this story in my head but my own. I read this book in 2005, before it was on any best seller list or Oprah and it is no exaggeration to say that it saved me during a dark and utterly lost place in my life. This book was my life raft and I hold it in extremely high regard.
I passed it on to every woman that I know and even used it as my inspiration for the project I had to create for my interview at Anthropologie. I started to re-read it during the first hazy months of motherhood when I started to experience those tiny drops of darkness, disconnect and sadness than can appear in the post-partum period. I didn't get through it all the second time, distracted by my lack of sleep and the taxing new duties of motherhood, but I didn't need to. I just needed to be reminded of what it had done for me before. I needed to remember my own time in Bali, my own strength in getting up of the floor and my own tools for finding the light again. And I did.
So, back to 2010 and Hollywood. I got over my initial "don't want this book to be made into a movie" attitude when I learned that Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem would be lending their talent to its story. And at the end of the day, I realized this was simply a natural progression of information sharing in this age of technology and film making. I sent out an email to my dearest lady friends and we have a matinee with dinner to follow scheduled for opening weekend.
And then today, on an unusual solo trip to Trader Joes, I let myself meander into Cost Plus to test my No Spend Month policy. And there, right at the entrance was America's answer to spiritual enlightenment: consumerism. Introducing the Eat, Pray, Love collection, just in time for the release of the movie. Mala beads from China, Indian inspired tunics and mass produced teak coasters from Bali. Arghhhh.
I get why this works. And I get marketing. And I get retail therapy. And I get wanting to feel good. And I get beautiful things. And I get that this is just all part of the process, but I don't have to like it.
So if you haven't read Eat, Pray, Love, go get it before you see the movie. Because my guess is that some part of Ms. Gilbert's journey will be like some part of your own. And that will remind you that we are never alone, in the darkness and the light.