Joe 02.20.15: Oliver Sacks

Sad news yesterday, as many of us learned that Oliver Sacks is on his way out. Terminal cancer. He is not long for this world.

For those who don't know, Oliver Sacks is a neurologist and author, known mostly for his books of case histories of patients with strange (and insanely amusing) neurological disorders (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia), and from the movie "Awakenings" with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. Remember that movie? That was based on the real deal. His writing is enthusiastic, engaging and compassionate, with a doctor's frankness. Go find his books at your library.

What's fortunate is that Sacks has used the knowledge of his coming end to leave us a beautiful and eloquent message. I've read this article several times now and I'm consistently moved by its peaceful simplicity.

A favorite section:

              "....This does not mean I am finished with life.

               On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

               This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well)."

Read the piece in its entirety here:

Thank you, Mr. Sacks!

And here's to silliness:

Posted on February 19, 2015 .