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‘Eat, Pray, Love’ valley style

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood
ALL |

There’s nothing like watching the film “Eat Pray Love” to spark thoughts suitable for journaling.

Sure, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling book, “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” last year and was motivated. I wanted to eat more. Pray more. And love more.

I especially wanted to eat – and love – more mozzarella.



The book had a lot of parallels with my own life. The author is a writer, albeit a much better one than I. Gilbert had a habit of dating for all the wrong reasons. She and I both went through a painful divorce.

But what divorce doesn’t hurt like a habanero-stuffed jalapeno covered in chili powder?



In the book and movie, Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts in the screen adaptation, seeks happiness in food, peace in prayer, and passion in paradise. I also seek the same. I’m just not sure if traveling the world for a year is in my future.

Not that I wouldn’t jump at the chance.

For now, I’ll seek happiness at the Italian Underground, peace in the Penny Hot Springs, and passion in the mountains. We’ll see how that works out for me. These initiatives could go terribly wrong. Or magically right.

I at least know a plate of lasagna and a hot soak will do me no harm.

One of the messages at the end of the book and movie I left with is to smile about life. Hey, I get down like nobody’s business when bills, work stress, and dating get the best of me. If at least one of those little gems in life doesn’t bother a person, then I need to find out what the secret is.

Then bottle it up and market it like crazy.

This might be a bit Punky Brewster of me, but maybe the secret to happiness, peace and passion is smiling all the time. Look at how much trouble Punky was in all the time, and she always seemed to be on the winning end of life. Not only did her dad leave her, and then her mom left her at the mall. And all she had left was her dog.

And I thought breaking up by text was bad.

One thing Punky always did was smile. Really, it’s that easy. That’s the advice I received during a ski date. That day I learned all about making turns, keeping my upper body facing forward, and planting my poles. But the advice I most remember is to keep a smile on my face as I make it down the mountain. Even if making it down the mountain isn’t that fun. I’m still working on not having friends on powder days, which is the saying in Colorado. Making friends at the Last Turn Lounge on powder days?

That I can do.

I also took away another word of advice from the “Eat, Pray, Love” book and movie. While she’s in Italy, Gilbert and some friends talk about one word to describe Rome. They decide on “sex.” That had me thinking of my word. It’s sort of how people who are interviewing me for a job ask what one word describes me. In the past, I’ve said “creative.” But that seems so cookie cutter. With the recent discovery of a pair of gold pants that seem to give me more confidence than I normally have, I think I have my word. Make that two.

Oro pantalone.

Perhaps the name of my book that documents my adventures in the mountains. Or at least my private journal.

April E. Clark hand-wrote her column this week. She can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com.


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