Elizabeth Gilbert, guru to millions through her best-selling 2006 memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love" about her spiritual and geographical journey after her divorce, has a new book out on marriage.
"Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage" is about her government-forced marriage to her Brazilian boyfriend. I haven't read it yet, but enjoyed this discussion between Gilbert and Catholic author Ann Patchett in today's "Wall Street Journal."
Though she hardly has a sacramental view of marriage, Gilbert does ultimately believe the institution of marriage will endure:
"I think of modern marriage as a car strangely fashioned out of an old abandoned horse carriage, built upon the framework of a mule cart. All the original engineering is still there, underneath it all. Whether we are aware of it or not, we carry into our modern marriages the expectations and social memory of thousands of years of history, as well as our own set of newfangled tools that we use to tinker daily with the old machine. We alter and customize the thing every century, every generation, every day—both in the courts and in our own homes. And marriage accepts our modifications gracefully. Marriage adapts, evolves and (in a manner that I find miraculous and kind of inspiring) somehow keeps chugging along."
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She also has some words of wisdom about why women tend to focus more on the wedding than on the marriage and about extending marriage to include gays and lesbians. Food for thought.