The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

It was 1999 when I read, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.  It's a simple true story about a man who had everything and woke up one day with the locked-in syndrome.  That basically means he couldn't move ANY part of his body except his eyelids … yes, all he could control was his eyes blinking.  With that, between him and his communication therapist, they developed a  system which is how he wrote the book … of course, with the help of an assistant who typed it all out.  I remember his sense of humour in the book, his very positive outlook despite having everything taken away from him in one swoop, who would have thought it was possible.

Thankfully the film maintained the essence of who he was.  I was curious how they were going to visually explore the very personal way he learnt to re-communicate.  So with POV angles and VOs, the audience is led into the a world where we can only imagine the fear and frustration.  And that was where the film was a little flawed for me. 

It seemed to gloss over what could possibly be the scariest moment of anyone's life.  And when he was learning to communicate with blinks, his frustrations were very reasonable … maybe that was what really happened.  Still, it felt a little unreal.

On the whole, it was one of those films that made you think a little about life.  It's all about perspective.  My dear friend, Cherry spent the afternoon at the zoo today.  She was volunteering to bring kids with Down Syndrome around.  Yeah, she has a sweet heart :)  And after that we were talking, it's so easy to be contented once everything is put in perspective. 

Which brings me to another story, the Dalai Lama was in Perth recently and my parents went to hear him speak; and the Dalai Lama had a simple advice … just four simple words – Contentment, Compassion, Love and Forgiveness.  It's not easy but with things put in perspective, we can always try.  So I'm working on being content and today I'm feeling pretty good about it πŸ™‚

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