OMGabe

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

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

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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Lazarus

What does a miracle sound like?

A dog breathing.

A dog breathing calmly. Unrestrictedly.

Specifically, Teva. My sister’s golden retriever.

I woke up up this morning to the sound of him breathing beautifully but three days ago, I found him faced down in the carpet, swollen and panting, with blood dripping from his nose.

The vet said it’s probably a cancerous tumor in his head. Like with my dad.

I called my sister as soon as I opened my eyes the next day.

She was crying.

Teva was barely moving and his left eye was now swollen shut.

I drove an hour and a half through a snow storm to get back there.

It was Sunday, and I knew he would have to be carried into the vet’s office to be put to sleep on Monday.

He’s almost a hundred pounds and I knew I’d have carry him, but only if a miracle didn’t unfold first.

During the drive, I experienced all sorts of thoughts: I’m just going to give him as much love as I can on his last day because chemo and radiation are too brutal for a dog. Why is life so awful? This is too much for me to take now. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle this so soon. Maybe I’ll just surrender all of my hopes for him because the universe is acting at as it must and maybe this is his best case scenario. How can there be a god? What’s the point of life?

But with about twenty minutes to go in the car, I sat up straight and had a change of heart:
Fuck this. I’m not going to be dictated to. Not even by divinity. He’s going to live. I don’t care how he looks or feels. I don’t care what the vet says. I don’t care what’s posted on the Internet about pure breed goldens of his age. He’s going to be okay. Miraculously. And that’s the end of it.

I turned off the depressing classical station I was listening to and allowed myself to jam out to some Zeppelin.

My sister, along with Teva whose tail was wagging, greeted me at the door.

“I don’t know what happened but his eye is less swollen and he’s been running around,” my sister reported to me.

His nose stopped bleeding by nightfall.

The vet was perplexed on Monday morning and instead of just the two of us walking out of the office after the appointment, we were accompanied by Teva and he sniffed around in the snow before hopping back in the car.

I’m looking at him now as I type to you and it’s fair to say he’s 95% better.

And I am so grateful.

So very grateful.

Now listen, I’m not prepared to say anything about this in either direction. Maybe it was a miracle. And if so, maybe it would have unfolded regardless of my “fuck this prayer” in the car. Maybe this was all fated. Predetermined. Or maybe it was a combination of chaos and dumb luck.

But I will say this: where there’s life, there’s hope.

And as tempting as it is to give up hope to soften the blow of the a worst case scenario, we mustn’t let ourselves.

Throughout history, the world has depended on the bravery of heroes.

And maybe we can expect more miracles by choosing to act more miraculously.

may god bless you,
gb

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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