Imagine that your body stops working right now in this second while you are reading this post, that you cannot talk or move anymore. Imagine that you are paralyzed for the rest of your life so other people have to take care of you forever. How would your life change if this was actually true? What would happen to the way you see yourself and the rest of the world? What do you do when you cannot do anything? We just saw a movie about someone who had this experience in real life. In December of 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, 43-year-old editor in chief of Elle magazine in France suffered a stroke, which severely damaged his brain stem, and left him paralyzed. This man was an important person who had an important job, who was famous and influential, who was extremely busy and ambitious and one day it all stopped in one single second. This movie called The Diving Bell and The Butterfly is one of the most powerful movies that I have ever seen. Director Julian Schnabel did such a remarkable job. He has proved to be a genius in terms of telling a visual story.
When Bill and I finished seeing the movie we couldn’t stop talking about all the things that we take for granted. Just being able to talk, to move, to communicate with other people, to drive and run and eat and laugh and scream if we want, to hold and hug our children, to use a computer, to build things with our hands…we don’t know how lucky we are until we see a story like the one in this movie. This man learned a way to dictate words, letter by letter using the blink of his left eye, the only part of his body that he could move. The writing of this book kept him alive. Ten days after the publication of his book he died but he left an important legacy that you will appreciate through this movie. During the first two minutes the movie doesn’t feel so appealing but soon you just want to see more and more and by the end of it you feel that this move has changed something in you. I am so grateful that I got to see it.
Bill just got me the book that he wrote and I can’t wait to read it. It has only 136 pages. Here on the back I can read this by Oliver Sacks: A book of surpassing beauty, a testament to the freedom and vitality and delight of the human mind.
The picture that you see up here in black and white is Jean-Dominique Bauby. Do you think that he is just sitting there paralyzed and that’s it? Well, the truth is that with his imagination and his memories he was still able to create and enjoy the little tiny piece of life that he was left with after his physical trauma. I just had to let you know about this movie. I highly recommend you to see it because I think that you will appreciate it as much as I did. And here you can see the trailer.