OMGabe

by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

I See Me In You

“Before I was born, before my parents were born, before the Earth cooled, and light years even before that, I already existed. For I am only consciousness. Perfect, pure, timeless, boundless consciousness. As are you. Because I am you. And you are me. We are one. And we are all there ever was and will ever be.” – gb

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Askew! God Bless You

I didn’t think I was straight for awhile, but it turns out I totally was the whole time.

(I love, I mean I really love, all of the gay thoughts you’re having about me right now. I meant – if my body was straight or crooked while stretching in the gym this morning.)

So, in the gym this morning, right before I gave this Chinese guy a handjob…wait, what?

No, seriously this time. I was stretching on the floor this morning at the gym and I kept on trying to adjust myself (stop!) because I kept feeling that my whole body was on an angle.

I finally realized however, it was the mirror on the wall which was crooked. Actually, it was the wall the mirror hung (holy shit, stop already) from.

Not me.

And I kept on trying to correct myself.

What a perfect example of this life of ours. Society keeps telling us that we need to conform and get in line if we, as Thoreau has said, hear a different drummer.

But let me remind you my dear friends, sometimes it’s society that has the problem. Not us.

We’re conditioned to tie ourselves into pretzels to appease the world, but if we don’t heed our hearts, we’re doomed.

Follow your heart.

Follow love.

Follow kindness and compassion.

Follow your passions.

– gabe –

Penis, I mean Please, if you liked this post, share it with your friends. Thank you as always.

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Free Range Thoughts

The problem with gratefulness is that it invariably leads to sadness for me.

Here I am, having coffee while watching cherry blossoms undulate in the wind, and I just feel grateful.

Grateful for the coffee.

The wind.

The cherry blossoms.

My eyes.

And grateful just to be able to feel grateful.

And thats the part that kills me.

There are millions of people, many millions, as well as other animals all over the world, who are suffering so badly as I type this.

Starving children. Raped women. Migrant farmers. Cows in corporately controlled slaughter houses.

And here I am wondering, “Are those marigolds or cherry blossoms. Is ‘marigold’ even a word or am I making that up? Goddamn, this is good coffee.”

Sadness sets in and lingers like rats on a ship.

Until I remind myself, once again, that it would be doing a greater injustice to those who are suffering if I didn’t allow myself to feel grateful for what I feel grateful for when I can.

How dare I squander the miracle of being a non-sufferer?

So, I allow myself to continue to feel grateful for what I feel grateful for.

And just now, while writing this, I’ve decided to also feel grateful for suffering that ends. If history has shown us anything, it’s that anything can change at any moment.

And from my perspective, it seems as though good prevails.

Eventually.

Thankfully.

thank you,
gb

P.S If you dug this, please share it with your friends so they can dig it too.

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One Week Tevaless

I knew he wouldn’t be there.

Of course I knew.

But I slept at my sister’s house last night and right before I went to bed, I peeked into Teva’s little nook in the dining room.

Until very recently, I’d find him there, pretending to sleep.

I’d plead with him to come down to the basement with me, but he’d totally give me the cold shoulder.

I had to plead with him because he’d start crying like a little Mary the SECOND I got under the covers and then I’d have to get up from the warm bed to open the basement door for him.

Sometimes, to eliminate that step, I’d drag his punk ass across the kitchen floor to the basement door, all the while defending myself, kung-fu style, against him trying to bite my hands off in rabid anger.

Rabid anger he’d let go of like a Buddhist as soon as he rushed down stairs to meet me by the edge of the bed with a rigorously wagging tail. Waiting for ear scratchies and kisses.

Well, I don’t know if he really dug my kisses but nevertheless, he must have gotten thirty-five million billion from me. Per week.

Which brings me to this: I’ve been asked how I’ve been doing since we had to put him to sleep.

Here’s the deal – the gratefulness I feel for having been able to give him so much love, especially when he got sick, overshadows the sadness. By far.

And I swear that’s not some spiritual, new age bullshit I’m trying to lay on you.

It’s solid truth. From the gut.

Maybe it’s just me, but loving unconditionally feels as good, if not better, than being loved.

thank you, as always, for reading these words I have chosen for you,
gb

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends. It just might be exactly what someone needed to hear. If they knew it or not. Thank you.

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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The First Law Of Thermodynamics

Teva, my sister’s golden retriever, is gone.

We had to put him to sleep.

About an hour before he took his last breath, I picked him up and put him in the back of the car. We stared into each other’s eyes for a few final moments and then my sister and brother-in-law drove him to the vet.

My nephews and I sat home in silence and sniffles.

I thought the three of us could all use some candy and on the way out to the car I said, “Guys, this just shows us, once again, that just about everything we worry about isn’t worth worrying about. Love is the only thing that matters.”

You’d think this would be lost on eleven year olds, but gratefully, it wasn’t.

I wrote similar words, in my head, as rushed I to my sister’s house this afternoon:

There is love and there is consciousness, and then there is the consciousness of love. All else is an illusion, albeit, as Einstein said, a very persistent one.

Thank you, to all of you around the world, who loved my boy as well,
gabe

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Consider You’re The Lilies

Although my first thought was, “What a careless, fucking asshole,” I am so grateful for my second thought.

Which was: I am so grateful to be the type of person who notices a flower with a damaged stem and does what he can to prop the little fella up.

I’m not taking any credit for this by the way. There’s no way to actually know where our thoughts manifest from. Free will? The butterfly effect since the Big Bang? Quantum calculations in neurons? God? Fate? Destiny? Complete chaos? Midi-chlorians?

Now back to the careless, fucking asshole.

My mom’s gardener.

I pulled into the driveway last night and saw that he must have stomped on the flower while doing the spring clean-up yesterday. And, as I’ve said, I’m so grateful for my thoughts.

I’m even more grateful to be the type of person who doesn’t automatically dismiss these types of thoughts and label them as “silly”, regardless of how I become conscious of them.

But this isn’t just any flower. It’s one that my dad planted years ago. And even after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our house and caused the sewage facility to overflow which destroyed the soil, my dad’s flowers persevered. They refused to be killed and thankfully, they keep coming back.

So, I got out of my car, gently lifted his little flower head and used one of his brothers to support his body.

The truth is though, I would have done this for any old flower.

Because the same mysterious force which animates a damaged flower, simultaneously animates my sister, and my mom, and you, and myself.

So how could I not extend a kindness if I’m in the position to do so?

Denying the impulse to do what I can, when I can, would be denying a kindness to myself, and that’s the ultimate unkindness.

Earlier I said that I’m not taking any credit for these thoughts. Trust me, I’m well aware there isn’t a long line of people waiting to dole out bushels of credit my way. I know my traits aren’t ranked high on society’s value list.

And I’m really okay with that. For better or worse, I can only be the expression of the universe that I am. I just do what I feel I must, so I can rest my head comfortably on my pillow before I sleep.

I’m not expecting a medal, nor do I think I deserve one.

Then why am I writing all of this?

Because I’m compelled to.

Because, if I remind just one person to connect with kindness, I’ve fulfilled my purpose.

Successfully.

thank you for trading your time to read my words – I’m truly grateful,
gb

P.S. If you enjoyed this piece, please share it with your friends so they can enjoy it as well.

P.S.S. My mom’s gardener is actually a beautiful, gentle person. He’s a cancer survivor and after my dad died from cancer, he checks on my mom often to see if she’s okay. Which, I’m so grateful to say, she is.

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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Let My People Go

Looking for Jews, I scrolled through the contacts in my phone.

It was time, once again, for my annual “Happy Passover :)” text message.

I zipped through the A’s, B’s and C’s, but when I got to the D’s, my heart sunk into my guts and I nearly asphyxiated.

I saw “Dad”, and for the tiniest of micro-seconds, the impulse to text him shock-waved through my body as if he was sitting at the kitchen table reading the New York Times and eating a burnt bagel sliced into threes.

But reality kicked in and caught up with me towards the end of that quantum time wrinkle.

I breathed a solid breath and skipped ahead to the R’s to find my dad’s best friend.

If anyone knows what it’s like to miss my dad, it’s him. They were pals since the second grade.

We chatted back and forth a bit and it was, to say the least, really nice. He’s kind of like a conduit for me. And I have to level with you, tears are now on my cheeks as I type this.

He wished me a Happy Passover and I resumed my messaging in alphabetic order.

For those of you who don’t know, or need a refresher course, the holiday is called Passover because the Angel Of Death passed over the Jewish homes when carrying out the tenth plague.

But I got news for you, he’ll be back. For all of us.

I’ll try to live as kindly, forgivingly, gratefully, gracefully, lovingly and thoroughly until it’s my turn.

Maybe you can try as well.

We owe it to our loved ones, lost and current, and we owe it to ourselves.

thank you as always,
gb

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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Skin Deep And Deeper


Being beautiful can make you famous and being famous can make you beautiful.

It’s the latter I have a problem with.

Well, not really a problem, but it’s something I think about and it registers as a bit unfair and even unjust with me.

Walk into any Chipolte on any given day, and you’ll see at least five guys or girls who, if were famous, people would lose their fucking minds over.

Lose their minds, not only because they’re famous, but also because they’ll think these guys or girls are beautiful.

Why do I have/not-have a problem with this? Because goddammit, they’re already beautiful. And already should be inflicting onlookers with awe. But they’re totally overlooked and just blending in with the burritos.

Do you know what I’m saying?

Stick these chicks in the ridiculously redundant Divergent sequel and then, like clockwork, you’ll see them on the covers of Glamour and Cosmo. Everyone will want to be them or be with them. But now they’re nothing.

And that just sucks.

See what I mean?

Okay, let me put it this way: look at the picture of these two chicks I sneakily took. If you showed them to one hundred people, most would say they’re average looking. But shove them in some lame TV show, smear a little makeup on, somehow erase the memory of the hundred people so they don’t remember seeing the initial picture, and I bet ya everyone goes gloryhole gaga over them.

When I see someone, I try to remember to also see their inner essence. And as long as they don’t ruin it as soon as they open their mouth, I see them as being better looking than than most people do.

Why isn’t inner essence vision more commonplace? Because it will throw a wrench into the system. The system is set up to keep us separated and in competition. If we were taught to see beyond outer appearances, we’d end up seeing ourselves in everyone and in everything. And the powers that be can’t have that. Because the powers that be would soon be out of power.

Thank God for you and I.

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Found In Translation

Lost In Translation is a transcendental meditation which originates innocently on screen, but soon blossoms, delicately and tenderly, outward through my soul.

I watched it for the first time tonight since seeing it in the theater fifteen years ago. And when I say transcendental meditation, I’m not referring to Maharishi’s TM. I mean transcendental, as in something that transcends.

Transcends ego. Transcends everything that makes us less human. Less beautiful. Less separate. Less loving.

Because deep in the moment, underneath everything, all that’s there is love.

And if you allow yourself to really be with this movie, if you allow your senses to open to it completely, if you surrender to the experience of it, a subtle hum of raw love will overtake you. Almost intravenously.

A raw love for the spaces between sentences and thoughts. A raw love for the uncertainty between what’s happening and what will happen. A raw love for the truth that tugs on our pants like a wide-eyed child. A raw love for a love which moves so slowly, and so solidly, we must pause to feel its presence.

I always pray to feel less sad, but if it means I’d have to feel even an ounce less alive and less content and less grateful in times like this one, I hope that prayer is overlooked and unanswered.

It’s late at night as I write this and I know the world will be right back in my face as soon as I awaken but maybe, just maybe, a trace amount of this effortlessly enlightened, lighthearted dewiness will continue to reside.

I hope the same for you.

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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I Do All Of My Own Stunts

I listened to Charlie Parker as I cooked dinner tonight.

Jazz isn’t out of the ordinary for me, and it’s not like you can listen to anything else after watching Whiplash on demand.

So it was me, and Bird, and the sound of sizzling Brussels sprouts drenched in sriracha sauce. All I needed was a glass of Cabernet and it totally would have been a scene in a movie.

It surely felt that way.

But right now, my life feels like what happens to characters after a movie ends. The credits roll, and in the theater you’re like, “I wonder if he became a famous musician after all of this? Do you think he got back together with that girl?”

And the person you’re with says, “It’s just a movie. Nothing happens with them next.”

And you’re like, “I guess you’re right.”

But you still think about it silently on the car ride home. And again before you go to sleep. “He really was a great drummer. Maybe he got a gig at the Blue Note. And I hope he stabs that J.K. Simmons bastard to death.”

And then you start worrying about him in jail after he kills his teacher. “I wonder how many push ups he could do?”

And then you start thinking about The Shawshank Redemption. “His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.”

And then you fall asleep.

So, I’m like a movie character after the credits. Guy gets his book published, lives on the beach in Florida, guy’s father gets sick, guy moves back to New York, father dies. And then the movie ends and you turn to the person you went to the movies with and whisper, “I wonder what he’ll do next.”

I’m kind of just waiting. Seeing which way the universe will unfold. Listening to jazz. Writing this to you. Yes, you. The person reading this right now.

After I ate, I was interviewed by some blog-talk radio station and then I sat back in front of the TV. Not much else to do with this continuing blizzard outside.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was on. A true story about a writer who at the age of forty-three, suffers a stroke that leaves him completely paralyzed. Completely paralyzed except for his left eye. Which he blinks out the alphabet with.

I turned it on during a flashback scene. His father was sick and he was shaving his face for him. They jokingly mock each other back and forth and then his father says, “I remember what I wanted to tell you – I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you.”

Coming out of the flashback, voiced over, the writer says something like, “Praise from my father. We’re all children, we all need approval.”

Jesus man, what are the chances of “coincidentally” turning the TV on right at this scene? It really is like I’m in a movie.

I remember my dad’s scruffy face so well. I rubbed my face against his right after I watched him take his last breath.

And on the couch tonight, watching this movie about this guy who can only live through memories, I decided to feel grateful. Really grateful for everything.

My breathing. The heat that kicked on in the house at that moment. Etcetera etcetera.

But then I started to question it all. Once again. Is it okay to feel grateful after realizing and re-realizing the abhorrent suffering of others?

I guess the answer is yes. Anything that causes you to feel grateful is okay in my book.

And maybe that’s the answer. The answer to the question I’m always asking myself. What’s the best way to live this life of ours?

In appreciation.

In appreciation of all the little things. Always.

Because the big things just seem to happen. With or without our approval, asking for, or understanding of. They just seem to happen.

Listen, I know I’m not saying anything new here. We’ve all heard the “be grateful” rap before.

And I honestly had no idea I’d end up talking about this when I first opened my laptop. I was just thinking about that kid in Whiplash and I just wanted to write about how much I miss being young. Being young with myriad possibilities.

Alas, such is life.

And what happens to me next in this movie I’m in?

Who’s to know really.

Maybe the pages have already been written by the great scriptwriter in the sky, or maybe it’s being written as I go. Maybe it’s a quantum combination of both. No one knows for sure and be wary of anyone who professes they do.

Here’s one possibility for the next scene though: A woman found my book Where Is God When Your Loved Ones Get Sick? on Facebook and she fell in love with it. It turns out that she’s friends with Robby Krieger, the guitarist from The Doors, and since I mention his old band a few times in that book, she’s giving it to him this weekend.

Maybe he’ll tell the world about it and I end up living happily ever after.

I’d like to see a movie like that.

thank you for trading your time to read this – it really means the world to me,
gabe

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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