Oliver Sacks passed away this weekend, and even though I didn’t personally know him, I mourn his passing and I’m so grateful for his influence on my life. Like so many people, I loved his writing and bought just about every book he ever published. (If you’re not familiar with him, Robin Williams portrayed him in the movie Awakenings.) But in the last few months, I’ve felt especially close to him as he revealed through a series of articles in The New York Times that he was dying of cancer. He approached the end of his life with great candor and courage. I found it all deeply moving and so humane. I also read this past summer his new memoir: On the Move. It was especially insightful as he told his story about coming to terms with his sexuality and all the struggles related to it. Dr. Sacks was indeed a polymath. He was a neurologist. A writer. A musician. A world traveler. A motorcyclist. (And former body builder!) His curiosity about life was insatiable, and surely curiosity is related to the experience of faith. Every now and then someone passes and it’s hard to imagine the world without that person in it. That’s how I feel this morning about Oliver Sacks. He was a bright star streaking across the sky. I will never forget his light. Take a Breath today. Let’s give thanks for those special people who bring so much life to our word and who, in ways great and small, teach us the possibilities of living.
August 31, 2015
by Dr. R. Scott