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

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Mental Breaks

The last thing I wanted to do is stand on a chair and pull the muck out from the gutters. But my mom asked me to do it. So I did it.

Normally, this would be my dad’s duty. But “normal” has left the building a few winters ago.

And as always, my mind toggled between spiritual philosophies as I grabbed fistfuls of soggy, lifeless leaves.

Should I focus on gratefulness? Forgivenesses? Lightheartedness? Holiness?

I settled on straight-up nothingness.

Without thoughts, my foul feelings faded and I transitioned, as The Dude would say, into abiding. Abiding in the crisp air. In the setting sun. In the breath.

I looked beyond the roof and saw a nest in a tree.

In that moment, I thought that the birds and other animals are the true inhabitants of this planet and you and I, and our silly problems, are just passing through. It still feels kind of true.

I showered up, ate my legal limit of lentils and Brussels sprouts, and got in the car to head to Starbucks.

At a red light, an asshole in an SUV quickly closed in behind me and I wasn’t sure if he was going to stop.

I braced for impact.

I thought how strange it is that our consciousness can literally be knocked right out of our bodies. In one second, everything that makes us us, can get turned off like a light switch and we’d be as lifeless as a old cigarette butt on a city sidewalk.

Where, if anywhere, do we go?

I really want to know. But not badly enough to know now.

Thankfully, the SUV found its breaks.

Now I have more time to think about spiritual philosophies. More time to think about thinking. More time to remember that the only thoughts worth having while you’re outside doing a favor for your mom, while you’re missing your dad, are the ones that remind you to stop all of your thinking.

Stop and just be.

Just be as we’re passing through.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Call Me Ishmael

If the sun was out and the world was awake, I wouldn’t even think about doing it.

But in the wee small hours of the morning, I brought my old iPhone out of retirement to reconnect with some old pics.

Dozens of shots of the beach I lived across the street from, an equal amount of dogs I’d meet walking into Starbucks, and of course, countless captures of my dad.

Looking happy before it all went down, forcing a calm face at my cousin’s wedding right after the diagnosis, and one of him bundled up in front of the house in a wheelchair. A few months before he died. Looking more like his old mother than the tough guy from Brooklyn he once was.

Upon seeing that last one, all of my peaceful, nearly enlightened, feelings of the day were washed away like a bad dye job.

Oh my God, what he went through. And, what we went through with him.

I regrouped while having cereal this morning though.

I realized, or re-realized, that all of that suffering only exists in one place now.

In my head.

He’s certainly not feeling it anymore. Only I am.

It serves no one to dwell on it.

But I swear I don’t intend to. Even when I’m not looking at pics, these awful memories can hit me like a rouge wave.

It sweeps out my legs and I tumble violently. Mercilessly. Until the sea settles and I find my feet again. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I don’t think I can prevent this from happening. And I don’t think I’d even want to if I could.

But, as I said, it serves no one to dwell on it.

The thing is, I already know how to save myself in these situations. I wrote about it in Live Like A Fruit Fly.

Active Appreciation is a life jacket I need to wear more often.

I need to remember to put one on as soon as I wake up.

I need to make sure the straps are secured throughout the day.

Maybe you do too.

thanks for spending these few minutes with me,

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Love Equals MC Squared

I know it’s old fashioned of me, but when a movie really permeates my soul, I applaud it in the theater as soon as the first words of the closing credits hit the screen.

It’s definitely a little dumb since the actors and writers can’t hear me, but I don’t care. I clap for the them, and the director and the lighting people, right there anyway.

But my favorite is when my adulation allows others to bring their hands together. People who normally might feel a bit too self conscious to do so.

The other night I removed my glasses, dried my eyes and clapped after the last scene of Interstellar.

Maybe it wasn’t the intended message of the movie, but here’s my takeaway: love transcends everything. Even time.

It now reminds me of what I once scribbled to myself a few years back: Time isn’t passing. We’re passing through it.


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Only The Everyone Dies Too Young

There’s nothing more Long Island than driving on the Wantagh, with water and beach-grass on both sides, while listening to Billy Joel live at Shea.

I was singing along with Angry Young Man, and somewhere deep in my inflection, I heard my dad’s voice.

I heard it so clearly. I felt it so strongly.

Not in a spooky, poltergeist kinda way, but fresh like it was yesterday. He’d sing along with the radio, drum on the steering wheel, and always take the long way to the North Shore so he could see people fishing from their boats.

And there in the dark, alone on the parkway, I started sobbing.

I covered my mouth to muffle my gasps and cried. Hard.

My god, everything but love is so meaningless.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Writing Because I Still Can

I was grateful this morning for the subtle symphony of meditative beats made by droplets of water that wanted out after I turned off the shower.

I watched them fall from the faucet in sort of a simulated slow-motion and an unmistakable rhythm popped off of the floor near my feet.

I was also grateful for how effortlessly my arm moved to grab the towel. And how fresh it felt as I brought it to my face.

Taking time to notice these moments and taking more time to write about them now will not help my career or advance my bank account by a cent. And it certainly won’t alleviate or assuage the disappointment I unintentionally dole out to others. This I know to be true.

But one day I might be too poor or too rich to relate to this beauty. Or too sick or too rushed.

So I am grateful that I was grateful for something so inconsequential.

Because like the others, my bones and my blood will one day be nothing but dust.

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