Tuesday, July 1

In the Blink of an Eye

What if you had no voice?Over the weekend I had the remarkable pleasure of watching The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I immediately went online to order the book composed by the subject of this movie -- Jean-Dominique Bauby.

In 1995, "Jean Do," the 43-year-old editor of French Elle, suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed and "locked-in." Before he died in 1996, Bauby dictated his memoir, communicated entirely by blinking his left eye. This film -- as well as every carefully chosen word in his story -- will stay with me for a long, long time.

See it.

Read it.


  1. ohh, I had totally forgotten I'd wanted to see this, thanks for the reminder.

  2. Dear Stiffie:

    I have been thinking about this film and book since we discussed it at dinner tonight. I had a vision (shortly thereafter) in which I imagined I was incapacitated and was dictating a book to you through the only means available to me -- by tapping a swizzle stick on the side of a rocks glass.

    Now the question is: would you carefully translate each tap into words and sentences (and you know the kind I write), or wait until no one was looking and hold a pillow over my face?

    Then again, since there was nothing I could do about it, you could always change my text to something else, and just move the rocks glass beyond my reach.

    The powerful text of Jean-Dominiqie Bauby indicates the strength of character he had, and his depth of insight.

    With all my love,
    AKA The Lindbeergh Baby

  3. Very pertinent for me, as I have no voice at the moment. It's been gone for seven weeks now, and I'm increasingly frustrated by the problems of living without effective verbal communication. I can whistle. I can write. But my family are speaking to me less and I'm feeling increasingly isolated by this illness. I know there is nothing nasty going on but am now faced with a long wait for speech therapy. Oh well..... I'll have to get hold of the film/book.

  4. I haven't seen the movie but I read the book. Very powerful Both tragic and inspiring at the same time.

  5. I read about this a while back - on vsl or some such - will have to see it - and read the book as well -

    lovely image Leslie...

    xox - eb,

  6. Thank you for the review! How incredibly moving! I'll look forward to watching it with my mom. This sounds like a life changing movie about the power of the human spirit! A beautiful butterfly photo you took to illustrate this post Leslie.

  7. i will take your suggestion...it sounds like a perfect reminder to celebrate life daily...

  8. I've heard about this film & then forgot to make watching it happen... thank you for the reminder!

  9. Year ago when the book first came out, I read it. Haven't seen the movie, though.


  10. Wow prett saw one at my birth day pary! We had it a few days before my BIRTHDAY which was JUNE 18th!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Oh my gosh, Leslie, I LOVED that movie and the book was superb, too. It really was a fulfilling film, wasn't it? "Jean Do" really was a special, charming man.