Yesterday I found my word. My word is the one word in all the languages of the world, that one conceptual verbalized form of meaning, that completely embodies who I am. Right now and probably forever, that word is Family.
I’m reading (finishing) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and ever since she’s mentioned that she’s started looking for her word, I’ve been looking for mine. It was kind of like a race. She’s won of course – after all it’s her book. For those who don’t know, Eat, Pray, Love (EPL) is Gilbert’s memoir of her mid-thirties tour of Italy, India, and Indonesia when she was leaving a divorce and post-divorce relationship behind her. She went looking for meaning in her life and – because of her previous success as a writer (NY Times being just one of her employers) – she got an advance to write about her year in a book that became EPL.
I don’t know if there’s one thing I could tell you that is awesome about this book because there are so MANY things I can tell you. I can tell you I never knew (like really knew) a thing bout Italy and now I want to desperately go to Naples to eat some authentic pizza and never be the same. Ever. I am so passionate about my spiritual life and have made some breakthroughs meditating from just reading about how transformative its role has been in Liz’s life. But don’t let that sound New Age to you, I’m talking about Old Age, Ancient and lasting transformation which is as natural and as true as Time.
But back to my word. I was reading when Gilbert was in Indonesia and had adopted a family of her own. And it hit me, like a punch on the arm but in my stomach. It felt like a punch in the arm in my stomach. I’ve always had family around in my life and I can trace my roots not by the geographical locations I’ve been, but from the webbed, interconnected network of relationships that are the foundations of my being, the very threads of my life. My family is why I have all my family around me – because my Grandpa on my Mom’s side sponsored everybody to make a new life in Canada and because my Great, Great Grandfather on my Dad’s side did the same. My whole family’s journey to Canada is built around love, family, and bonds of unconditional trust.
The family I’ve been blessed to call family have not always been my blood relatives, though they might as well be. They are my friends, my co-workers, my classmates – my family is so huge; I want to make the world my family. I want to travel the globe and build those connections you only build in the intimacy and closeness of one’s home. If my family were to be everybody, I could help one person and I would help everyone. Helping everyone would be possible by helping my family. I know this sounds really cliche and told, but this is how I feel. Call me a dreamer, but take a look into my fantasy and relay it to your own experience. What are the best diner’s in town? The one’s that cook homemade food. Where are the best parties held? At someone’s house (like the Hugh Hefner’s mansion).
So let me say that it feels good to know my word. Life really is this magical thing that is happening to us all when we take off our serious glasses and look at the world with curious eyes.