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

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

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.



thank you,

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


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,

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.


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,


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.


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

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.


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,


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.


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