I had to re-read this book before I put it on the list of Books That Should Be on Your List. It had been a while, so I wanted to see if Alison’s story stood the test of a little time. I remembered it fondly, so when I was compiling this list and saw it on my Kindle, its time had come again.
This was my initial review of the book for Amazon. I had been friends with Alison on Facebook, so when she offered review copies, I jumped on it. She also had some conference calls to work through some of the exercises in the book, so I got the chance to work with her directly.
I had a feeling I’d love this book, but I had no idea just how much I’d love it. I’m not sure exactly what made it so special, but rarely do you get to see so deeply into someone’s heart, then step back and look at your own life in such a way that you feel seen in just the same way. Alison has a rare gift. This book was a gift, because it reminded me that the way for creative people to make meaning of their lives and walk through depression is to CREATE. Alison, thank you, thank you, thank you. I think you may have saved my life.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
After reading it for a second time, I saw and understood some reviewers’ comparison of Pilgrimage of Desire to Eat, Pray, Love. They called it a travel memoir and talked about how ordinary people couldn’t just pick up and travel the way Alison’s family did. I think by calling Pilgrimage of Desire simply a travel memoir, we diminish what she was trying to do by telling her story. I think by calling it another Eat, Pray, Love written by a privileged white woman, we miss what she had to say to us creative types about how essential creating is to our mental and physical health.
And it is essential. It’s as essential as breathing. We have to create using words or art or dance or whatever our chosen creative act is to make meaning of what happens to us. We have to create to make sense of what we think, what we believe, and who we are. It’s that simple.
The flow exercises Alison includes in this book are in a separate PDF for ease of printing. Follow the link and scroll down.