January 23, 2010
Onward and Upward
Finished Committed tonight. Elizabeth Gilbert is a modest and generous writer. She managed to weave her own fretful story in between the stories of friends, family, strangers she met in Southeast Asia, and historical figures. She dispels myths and enriches the meaning of matrimony with great humor. In the end, she decides that, despite her own fears and trepidations (as well as those of Felipe's), marriage is an act of subversion because in the end no church, despot, government or repressive regime has been able to control what happens in the privacy of one's bedroom and cannot prevent the bond that two people in love have for one another. As Gilbert says, slave owners in pre-Civil War America forbade slavery, but slaves invented jumping the broom as a commitment ceremony, just as today, gay and lesbian couples in the U.S. celebrate their weddings without state approval. She ends the book with her own simple ceremony, in her new home, surrounded by family and friends. I threw rice.