I'm reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I always read with a pen, and mark passages that strike me as particularly well-written, poignant, interesting, relevant or beautiful. This book got a lot of ink marks.

As a physician who sees many depressed patients, and as a mother who tends to ruminate while doing laundry on her days home, I appreciated this paragraph:

"I became a student of my own depressed experience, trying to unthread its causes. What was the root of all this despair? Was it psychological? (Mom and Dad's fault?) Was it just temporal, a "bad time" in my life? (When the divorce ends, will the depression end with it?) Was it genetic? (Melancholy, called by many names, has run through my family for generations, along with its sad bride, Alcoholism.) Was it cultural? (Is this just the fallout of a postfeminist American career girl trying to find balance in an increasingly stressful and alienating urban world?) Was it astrological? . . . Was it artistic? (Don't creative people always suffer from depression because we're so supersensitive and special?) Was it evolutionary? . . . Was it karmic? . . . Was it hormonal? Dietary? Philosophical? Seasonal? Environmental? Was I tapping into a universal yearning for God? Did I have a chemical imbalance? Or did I just need to get laid?"

[Addendum - January 19, 2008]