Monday, March 10, 2008


My friend Kam who shares the same birthday as me has been ‘missing in action’ for the best part of a year. Yesterday, I found out why.

He was in Barcelona to celebrate his birthday and stayed up late to send me an email (which I never received). He’d just gone to bed when someone yelled, “fire!” The flames caught on so fast, there wasn’t time to put on clothes. Stark naked on the street, Kam watched the building burn to the ground within minutes.

He believes that if he hadn’t stayed up to send me that email, he would have died asleep in bed.

That’s just the beginning of his story… shortly thereafter he got an infection in his spine and was in a coma then paralyzed for months. Now it’s as if he’s a baby, relearning how to walk, talk… basic human functions. There’s a name for his condition, but he couldn’t quite recall with his slightly thick tongue and wandering mind. The prognosis is uncertain; he may be wobbly on a cane for the rest of his life, though knowing his spirit I doubt it.

When Kam was in San Francisco, his favorite place to eat was Café Gratitude. Where he is now, in Nottingham, England, there is nothing remotely like it.

“While you may not have a café,” I said, “you surely must still have plenty of gratitude,” to which he replied, “most definitely. I am still alive.”

For years I struggled with life, always seeking to know my dharma. I am so thankful to not have that struggle any more. I am a filmmaker and for that each day I am grateful. No-one can rain on my parade – meter maids, car vandals, angry neighbors – because I am making a movie! Nobody pays me to do it. I do it because it’s my passion and I’m grateful to have found others who share that passion.

So this little essay is my way of sending energy into the universe to help Kam regain his vitality so that he can get back to San Francisco, where I can take him to a certain small café and partake in a repast of gratitude.

And, if you’re so inclined to contribute even a small amount to the launch of MISMO, you will have my undying gratitude.

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