Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's "B" Words: Bliss, Bath, Book, Beauty, and Boo

I am savoring Eat, Pray, Love and I dread the moment when I will sadly and slowly read the final paragraph and close the book.

When Liz is in Italy, she savors everything about the country, especially the taste, texture and beauty of its delicious food and the seductive cadence of its beautiful language. After finally shedding the guilt of simply feeling good, Liz immerses herself in a variety of hedonistic pleasures in Italy
(except sex -- which is a story of its own; read the book!), allowing herself to finally shed some of the destructive self-hate that had been haunting and depressing her for years.

Reading about Liz's decision to discover and hold on to pleasure reminds me of my own pleasant (if not hedonistic) ritual -- my nightly bath.

I have taken a nightly bath since before I can remember (though I do have vague memories of the soapy smell of Johnson's Baby Shampoo and a soft "ducky" towel with a pocket in the corner which served as a cap for wet hair). And although most of my adult days consist of a flurry of activity from dawn to dusk, I have always insisted on my own nightly hedonistic escape. Even when I had four kids under the age of five demanding my constant and uninterrupted attention, I always found a way to indulge my one selfish pleasure -- my evening bath.

These days, Boo keeps me company. The moment he hears the water rushing into the tub he comes running, jumps onto the hamper (upon which I've placed his favorite soft towel), curls up and goes to sleep, his forceful purr replacing the sound of the cascading water as I turn off the faucet and settle into the smooth, silky water.

Unlike years past, when I had to steal an abbreviated moment to myself, I now settle into my bath -- and into my book -- for long periods of time, emerging shriveled, but very, very relaxed. I am reading Eat, Pray Love very slowly, savoring every one of Liz's words, admiring every paragraph she writes, and envying every experience she has -- both as a writer and as a traveler. (Today I read an entire chapter over again, just to repeat the amazingly pleasant experience of reading it.)

Oh, to be able to string words and thoughts and experiences together with such simple, pure perfection! When I read Liz Gilbert's writing, I visualize a thick, velvety smooth ribbon of perfection. Chocolate comes to mind -- dark 70% chocolate (80% if it exists) -- and I savor each drop of it as it permeates every crevasse of my mind. That's how effective her writing is! As she describes the beautiful, flowing Italian language and the simple but succulent Italian food, her words take on exactly those qualities, and I can't help but be there with her in warm, steamy relaxing, bubbly Italy.

See what I mean? I think it's time to get out of this bath.

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Rositta said...

The one thing I missed terribly on our long trip was my nightly bath. It's the first thing I did when we returned home. I have a huge soaker tub and filled it to the brim with lavender and just stayed there until I too was shrivelled...ciao

Anonymous said...

80% cocoa chocolate does exist, but it is just a little too far over the edge into grainy and bitter for my liking (and I LOVE dark chocolate). I believe Lindt makes it.

Jen said...

What a lovely ritual! And I'm still not through Italy - I've had so much other reading. I'm hoping to really sink into it tonight. It's a wonderful book.

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