Book Excerpt
The Gift of Gabe
by Brian Joseph

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An excerpt from The Gift of Gabe by Brian Joseph, published 2005 by Aventine Press.
Book excerpt reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
Copyright © 2005 Brian Joseph

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BOOK EXCERPT
FROM CHAPTER 2

For a minute I felt sorry for Gabe. I thought that he must be lonely. As I was thinking this Gabe said, "Forgive me for babbling, I get excited sometimes and my recent conversations have been limited." He thanked me for listening to him and I told him that I had learned some things that I did not know. I told him that he must have been a good teacher and he said, "I have learned from those I have taught." I thanked him for his hospitality and told him that I needed to be moving on. "Would you like to hear Hey Bulldog?" he asked. He said this in the same way that a five year old would ask another child if they wanted to have ice-cream. I said, "Okay," and he walked towards the stereo and selected a compact disk. As soon as the song started he faced me and closed his eyes. It sounded like another child-like ditty, like a children's rhyme that made no particular sense. I became curious as to what Gabe might say it meant. When the song ended, Gabe said, "Great song." Then he turned, shut off the stereo and told me to drive safely. I looked at him and said, "Well?" He said, "Well, what?" I giggled and said, "Aren't you going to tell me what it's about?" He was silent for a moment and I wondered if my giggling had been taken as a jibe or as poking fun of him. It was the kind of giggle and comment that one might make to a friend or someone one has known for quite some time, lovable ribbing. Gabe spoke, "It would be difficult to explain without." He stopped mid-sentence and I asked, "Without what?" "Without a lot of things," he said and he proceeded to explain. Without taking a lot of time, without my having a general background in the subject matter and without my prematurely thinking he was crazy. "Is that enough withouts?" he asked. "You mean I wouldn't understand?" I half asked and half stated.

He was silent for a moment and then he said, "Hmm.well it .." He stopped mid-sentence again apparently at a loss for words. "Complicated?" I asked. "No, quite the opposite, it's simple, which is why it is difficult to explain." Then he said, "There is another kind of language." At first I didn't say anything because I didn't know what he meant and I was thinking that he was a little `out there'. I wondered if the eccentricity that I had so far seen was just a prelude to greater strangeness. "I guess that there are many languages," I said. He responded by saying, "You mean languages like French, English, Spanish and the various languages of various cultures. I'm talking about a language that expresses what is beyond language, language that is about what is." I asked him what he meant and he said, "I guess I'm not off to a good start explaining it." He was quiet for a moment and then introduced me to a word that I had never heard before. Later I was to learn that the concept that he described this word as meaning was his major area of interest and research. "Some Sufi call it shathiyat." I wasn't sure what to ask. I had heard of the word Sufi somewhere before, but could not remember where. "What is a Sufi?" I asked. Gabe instantly responded with, "Inayat Khan said that a Sufi is one who burst his cage." Then he said, "No that's not a good place to start." He tried to explain by asking me to imagine the language of some rainforest tribe, a language that I had never known of or even knew existed. Then he asked, "If I knew the language could I teach the entire language to you in one hour?" "I guess not," I replied. "It's even beyond that." He smiled and said, "It's beyond that." Then he asked me to imagine my having to learn that language while having severely impaired hearing so that even the greatest shout sounds like a faint whisper. "Now imagine that you have had this hearing impairment for about as long as you can remember so that you may vaguely recall a time of things being louder," Gabe continued on. He told me to further imagine that I came from a land where just about everyone has the same type of impairment, so that to you it seems normal. "Could I teach you this unknown language without great difficulty?" he asked. "I would assume not," I replied. "Well that would be the task," Gabe responded. He then told me that first he would need to convince me that such a language existed and then try to teach what it is. I stopped and pondered the strangeness of the conversation. Gabe seemed to sense that I was thinking that this was not an everyday type of conversation. "Well we are beyond small talk," he said. "It sounds like alot just to explain a song," I commented. Gabe told me that he was not talking about explaining a song, but was talking about explaining a concept and a language and that the song was within that concept and language. Gabe asked, "Would you be interested in learning this language?" I didn't respond right away. I felt a bit sorry for Gabe. He was old. He was eccentric. He seemed hungry for conversation. He was alone. I was also thinking that he was very smart, but that he was not `all there.' "Well. okay," I responded. I think he knew that I was just humoring him and that I thought he was `out there' and that there wasn't any secret language. What amazed me was that right after I thought this Gabe said, "Now I didn't say or mean to imply that it's a secret language. It's not a secret. It's just hidden off somewhere in some remote jungle that you don't know about. In fact not only is it not secret, but it is shouted and spoken loudly, but with the hearing impairment you only occasionally hear whispers. This may happen when you are quiet and still and focus on hearing, but imagine that you do not yet even know how to do this." He asked me if I liked to read. "Sometimes," I said. He walked over to the bookcase on the right hand side of the room and went right to one small book. It was a paperback. He walked towards me and placed it in my hand. I glanced at the title, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg, by Joseph Chilton Pearce. He watched me as I looked at the cover of the book. "It offers a good overview," he said. He explained that I should recall that his first task was to convince me that such a language existed and that it was clear that he had not yet begun to do so. Then he said that in order to convince me of that, he must first convince me that such a place exists where this language is spoken. The subtitle of the book was Split Minds & Meta Realities. I asked Gabe when he wanted me to return the book and he said whenever I was done with it and was in the area. "Other than grocery shopping and occasional trips out to eat, I'm usually home. John wrote it." I asked, "Wrote what?" and he replied, "Hey Bulldog." When I commented that Lennon was a great musician, Gabe said, "Yes, but while not generally recognized as such, he was one of the greatest mystical poets of the twentieth century." I said good-bye as I flipped open my pocket-watch. It was almost 7 o'clock.

The Gift of Gabe by Brian Joseph,
PLEASE CLICK HERE for BOOK PRICE and SHIPPING INFORMATION

We have reviewed this book.
Link to our book review.