Saturday, September 23, 2006

RITA, the “FEMALE NOMAD” and I meet, 2003

In 2001 “Tales of a Female Nomad” was published. It was not an overnight success but it has gained in momentum over the years and I, for one, could not put it down. Basically it is the story of Rita Golden Gelman (author of over 70 children’s books, including the popular “More Spaghetti, I Say!”) who left a failing marriage in 1985 and began an adventure that continues to this day.

She struck out on her own and this is the story of her journey. She travels to Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, Bali and New Zealand for starters. She has little money but she has a gift for connecting with people and this stands her in good stead all over the world. The reader is privileged to be part of her transformation from an unfulfilled suburbanite to a liberal and self-assured woman of the world.

Rita has no permanent address and no possessions except those she can carry. But she does have a website and an active following who e-mail her faithfully. She keeps us abreast of her doings and I was thrilled to read, in 2003, that she would be spending the month of September as the guest of the Omega Institute in Dutchess County, NY. I knew that she would be giving lectures and readings for the staff but had no idea if I could be included, as a non-paying outsider. My daughter and son-in-law have a business in that County and we were all anxious to meet her.

I e-mailed Rita and she wrote back to say that the lectures were closed but that we could certainly meet for lunch. And that’s what we did. My children, a friend and I spent 3 hours over a leisurely lunch and I came away with a feeling of awe and respect for her. She is totally dedicated to “living at large in the world” and her inspirational journey is a testament to the fact that we can all live together in peace. I would recommend this book for anyone who admires those who truly live life to the fullest.


Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Ginnie,
I was so thrilled to read this post. I kind of devoured her book in Borders one night over a cup of coffee. So it was a gallop, and I only skimmed the surface. Her deep humanity touched me.

Thanks for the great story and for the website, too.

I look at all of the attention the world gives to the under-talented singers and actors and their babies. Yawn. Wouldn't newspapers be more interesting if they covered REALLY gifted and interesting people like Rita?

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting Ginnie. Thanks for sharing. The first thing that came to mind after reading your post about Rita is someone who really does have a clue!

7:54 AM  
Blogger gawilli said...

Thanks for the tip! This definitely looks like an inspirational read and an interesting site. What a list of children's books and quite a lady.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Ginnie and thanks for sharing this. I will certainly add her book to my list.
As you may have gathered, I immensely admire women who live their life to the fullest and reach their full potential.
That's how Sue Monk Kidd affected me last week....I'm still in awe of her and I'm now reading her first book, a spiritual memoir which I'll blog about when I finish it.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very inspiring. I've always wanted to make it up to Omega.

I'm not seeing the website link.

1:30 PM  

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