March 11th, 2010
Not too long ago, my brother sent me a link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED speech on creativity (which I’ve posted here several times) and told me, “This woman reminds me a bit of you, and I think you’ll probably enjoy it if you haven’t seen it.”
Well of course I was semi-flattered, because as the author of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert is successful and a writer — two things on my “to-do” list of life. But I don’t know, something about her has always bugged me a little. I could never put my finger on it exactly, but whatever it was tempered my enthusiasm for her. So while I enjoyed her TED speech, I still found myself not completely wooed.
THEN, my other brother, my dopey, lame OTHER brother (who had been cc:d on the above), sent me the below email.
“Good timing on this video – Both because I’ve been working on a project for a TED wish winner at work, and because I just read a review of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book that had some great insights into this sort of personality.
“It does not take a lot to get Gilbert worked up.”
“Keeping things in perspective is not Gilbert’s strong suit. This is why she goes on so many trips and does so much information gathering: she wants to understand how her fellow-humans have resolved the issues that torment her. The result is Gilbert’s new book, a journey through domestic history and her own neuroses.”
“Ultimately, Gilbert is clear about what she, like most people, wants: everything. Intimacy and autonomy, security and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills.”
And my personal favorite, something every man can probably relate to:
“All this ambivalence, expressed in her high-drama prose, can be a lot to handle. (One generally doesn’t indulge another person’s emotional processing at this length unless the jabbering is likely to conclude with sex.)”
Right. NOW I get it.
Also, the email from my brother(s)?
Was titled, “Deb’s Alter Ego.”
Sometimes it takes those closest to you to really show you yourself.
Those little fuckers.