Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly

I've been sitting here for the past 20 or so minutes.

In the 20 minutes that went by, Jean-Dominique Bauby may not have been able to "dictate" out the sentence above. But from the time he was left with only a working left eyelid after a stroke until he died 15 months later, that was what Jean-D did. Dictating his story. By dictation, Jean-D needs a scribe who will read letter by letter from a card similar to the one above. When s/he reaches the correct letter, Jean-D will blink once.

And that was how the book The Diving Bell & The Butterfly was written. Letter by letter, until it forms a word. Joining the words to form sentences. Sentences that became paragraphs and then chapters. In the end, the book became a personal statement of how no matter the adversity, one must always hold fast onto the human inside.

Jean-D died two days after the book was published.

Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine. After his stroke, he suffered from what is known as "locked-in syndrome". Armed with only his left eye-lid, memory and imagination, what he left behind was hope.

I suppose there is a great architect that resides in these spaces. In between us. And when in her design, she has decided that you will have a wonderful story to tell, she will make sure you will have enough resources to share it.

I sat for 20 minutes not knowing what to write about this movie. Because I don't know how best to convince you that this movie is essential.

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