Last Sunday, two friends and I saw the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” It was a pretty good movie, all-in-all. The scenery in Italy, along with the sumptuous food photography, made you want to hop on a plane right then with a one-way ticket to what looks like paradise. The scenes from India – well, my first thought was there was no way I would be able to meditate in that kind of humidity – unless I went in to the one air-conditioned room that they had especially for that purpose. But no sitting out on a mat in the “garden” for me! (Missing the whole point of meditation, I know …)
Several sentiments caught my attention throughout the movie. In one scene, an Italian man was getting a shave or hair cut in the barbershop. He was expounding on his belief that Americans don’t take real pleasure in life in general. Made me think … we certainly enjoy people, events, etc. … but do we “savor” those moments? (As Jenna Busch states in her movie review, “The Italy sequence was so well shot and edited that I’d decided to move there after ten minutes in. (Not practical, but after listening to a bunch of Italians in a barbershop explain why we Americans are so stressed out and the Italian concept of ‘bel far niente’, the beauty of doing nothing, you can’t help but entertain the idea.) I like that concept, too – “the beauty of doing nothing.”
After the movie moved on to India, the idea of “clearing your mind of all distractions” was mentioned. Considering my brain has functioned as a sieve as of late, this wouldn’t seem too hard for me to do! However, have you ever tried it? It’s difficult!! I think the closest I’ve come is playing the Zen game on Wii – where you have to sit as still as possible for a certain length of time in order for the candle flame not to extinguish.
I guess this part resonated with me, not so much for the meditation factor, but because Pastor Bill has talked with us lately about saying “No” to God, when we really should be saying “Yes.” Maybe trying to clear our minds of all the distractions, the reasons why we say no, etc. can get us to the place where we can be ready to say “Yes!”
And lastly, the idea of forgiveness was touched upon. The point was made that we have to learn to forgive ourselves before we can forgive others. And that we sometimes just need to “let go.”
I plan to see this movie again. (And not just to see Javier Bardem 🙂 With movies that I like, I sometimes go back a second time to see what I missed the first time around. And, according to a review I read about the movie, it was pointed out that in the laundromat scene, the sign “Do not overload” appeared. I missed that, and it was an appropriate sign for the author’s life. For those in the Plymouth Church family, if you’d like to make this a group event, let me know …
- ‘Eat Pray Love’ Is a Long, Heavy Meal (online.wsj.com)
- Jenna Busch: Eat Pray Love Review (huffingtonpost.com)