A skeptic who is yet to make peace with marriage

elizabeth gilbert

Sometime during last year I happened to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ which talks about her soul-searching journey through Italy, India and Indonesia over a year after a devastating divorce. She spent time in Italy to eat and in India to seek before finding love again in a Brazilian businessman named Felipe in Bali, Indonesia. After a not-so-long period of courtship, Felipe and Liz swore their love for each other but decided never to get married as both of them had bitter divorces.
Since, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was not really a bad read, I picked up its sequel, ‘Committed: A skeptic makes peace with marriage‘ which focused mainly on her ordeals with the US government that ended up in her marriage with Felipe as it was legally required for him to live with her in the US. She also talks, in the books, about the history and evolution of the institution called marriage while attempting to tackle her fears of the same. The bond of true compatibility that she found between herself and Felipe made her quite confident that they would make a wonderful couple.
After finishing the book this morning, I visited her Facebook page where I found a post about her commitment ceremony with her writer-girlfriend, Rayya Elias. She separated from Felipe, her husband for nine years, in July last year after she discovered her feelings for Elias, her best friend for more than a decade. She also informs her readers that the reason she’s going public with her and Elias’s relationship now is because Elias has been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, which is incurable. She goes on, “I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be — the only place I can be.”
While I wish all the best to Elizabeth Gilbert and Rayya Elias, I also realise that everything around love is beyond our comprehension and a bit complicated.
Here are some quotes from Eat, Pray and Love:
“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” 
“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.”

Your Feet

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When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.

– Pablo Neruda

On your wedding!

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There is an amazing couple who stood by me during some of the most difficult times in my life. They lived together for almost twenty-five years before deciding to get formally married on this day eight years back. Wishing them so many more happy and healthy years together. The message I sent to them on the occasion of their wedding in 2008 can be seen below:

On Your Wedding

Cheers to your integrity
Cheers to your togetherness
Cheers to your compatibility
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
It has been a matter of joy
To know that you have decided to strengthen your bond
It is heard that
We are attracted to someone
Just because we find
Certain traits of our personality in him/her
You two found yourselves
Totally and perfectly in each other
It is true every wedding occurs in heaven
And the heaven rejoices at that moment
Few things are required
To make our lives meaningful…….
A window that is kept open
A book to be meditated upon
Fresh flowers and leaves in the vase
And the caring hand of a loving person
You have found everything
You are invited
To the festival of this world
And your lives are blessed
Celebrate the happiness of being alive
Make everyday a holiday
And celebrate just living
The more you praise and celebrate your life
There is more in life to celebrate