Monday, August 31, 2015

The Man Who Brought People To Life

Some of Oliver Sacks' stories were almost unbearably sad and poignant. After all, he treated, among others, the sort of people who just couldn't have the cliched "happy ending," something which takes strength in and of itself.

Other stories were amazingly uplifting. And almost impossibly, most if not all of the sad ones were uplifting as well.

Above all, his stories were, to use a word I once saw applied to him, humanizing. He brought the individual out in a way that a dry case study could not.

And then, as he faced the end of his life, he somehow found the strength and skill to do all of that with his own story. We are all enriched. RIP.

Edited to add: The following was the last sentence he ever published. It is beautiful, and beautifully appropriate:

"I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest."
The number of protesters outside Bibi's home is multiplying. Now, there are some people in tents protesting Hotza'ah LaPoal and/or Bituach Leumi. (It's hard to tell, and lately their signs haven't gotten mixed together with those of the hunger-striking "Women for Peace." It's a fun block.) They yell at us (alternating in Hebrew and English) for taking the lad out in the sun. (Lest you think we are bad parents, he wears lots of sunscreen, which of course they can't see.) The leader has been laying out in the sun herself for a while. Today, she had a volume of the Zohar with her. Ah, Jerusalem.

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