Being Martha Louise Hunter

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eat, pray, love & kahil gibran


"you don't need a man, liz," he says. "you need a champion."

a line spoken by that hot actor with the bedroom eyes, dimples & accent. think his name is javier bardem.

i've resisted watching eat, pray, love since it came out, & resisted reading the book, too, by elizabeth gilbert. 

it was like 8 years ago, right? something like that. i think it's because i had a pretty good idea what it was about.

i don't watch movies as much as i used to, & i need to work on that. you can learn a lot from movies, not to mention books.

this liz woman seems to be julia roberts.

&, I'm not even watching the movie now, anyway, even though it's on the tv -- says at the bottom of the screen, "26 minutes left."  below that, it says, "a woman comes to the realization that she is not happy. so after a divorce, she sets out on a journey across the world, during which she falls in love."

same old familiar story, right? unhappy, divorce, expensive vacation, love.

hey, wait a minute... where's the eat & pray? oh, yeah -- coming in with only 26, now 24 minutes left, they must've done that already.

okay, here comes love. it would seem that now they're falling in it. julia has that weepy, sideways look in her eyes. javier is watching her with an "i've got love on my mind" expression.

gracious. he just popped something like "girl from ipanema" on the hi-fi. now it's the dance, the seduction... followed by,

the closed door. 

change of scene. more dialogue: "love is scary. dangerous." it's the woman who's treating julia for a bladder infection.

"we've only spent 2 minutes apart for the past 2 weeks," julia says.

"too much happiness. too much pleasure. you make yourself sick," the wise woman says.... "be careful, or you lose yourself."

i know what she's talking about. i know. you might, too, if you've ever been in love.

you spend so much time together - it's just so fun -- intoxicating -- it's all you want to do. you don't want to be apart.

but javier lives in bali. julia lives in new york. when he proposes they try finding a life in the middle, she freaks out.

"you're afraid to love again," he says. "do you love me, or do you love me not? look me in the eyes & tell me. i know you feel the same way i do. why can't you say it back? you're terrified?"

julia says in tearful exasperation, "i don't know why you can't understand this. i found something & i can't give it up."

"the balance you think you found is meditation & prayer," he says back. "listen. balance, my darling, is not letting anybody love you less than you love yourself."

"don't say darling to me again, or i'm going to lose it," she says angrily. "i don't need to love you to prove that I love myself."

"don't run away from me," he pleads. "you're running away from all of the great possibilities of your own life."

but, she does.

she puts his photo in her travel bag & zips it up.

on the way out of town, she visits her medicine man, ketut.  "you healed me ketut. i wouldn't have come back to myself."

he looks at her knowingly. "you love your new boyfriend."

"i ended it," she says.

"don't understand why you do that."

she shakes her head. "i couldn't keep my balance."

"listen to ketut," he says. "sometimes, to lose your balance for love is part of living a balanced life."

the movie's almost over. but, we've seen enough of them to know she never makes it to the airport.

in the meantime, julia gives a voice-over about "the physics of the quest."

        "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you.

Or so I've come to believe.”

that's one kick-ass speech, don't you think? julia didn't come up with it spontaneously -- elizabeth gilbert put those words in her  mouth & she's a damn good writer. plus, she's definitely onto something.

julia meets javier on the boat dock. of course she came back.  

they kiss, they smile. they speed in a fast boat across the ocean, breeze in their hair, sparkle on their eyes, into the sunset.

when I got married, the priest took from the teachings of kahil gibran. tonight, i turn to these words in my mind-- i believe they speak to this "balance" from eat, pray, love. see what you think --

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow
— From "On Marriage" by Kahil Gibran

i'm glad i got to catch the last 26 minutes of the terrific movie tonight. what a gift.

i also love javier's line, the 1st line i caught from the movie, because it's so meaningful to me. it says a lot.

"you don't need a man, liz," he says. "you need a champion."

that's love. & believe me, i'm grateful.

truly grateful. & blessed.