On this important anniversary, it makes sense that the wonderful Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings would select something splendid for us to take to mind and heart. All one has to do is read the headline to be able to breathe better:
Oliver Sacks on 9/11 and the Paradoxical Power of Music to Bring Solace by Making Room for Our Pain.
From Brain Pickings:
A science-storyteller like the late, great, sorely missed Oliver Sacks (July 9, 1933–August 30, 2015) comes about once a century, if we’re lucky. Throughout his long career as a working scientist who bewitched the popular imagination with beautiful writing, he frequently turned to music as his storytelling muse. It was a relationship that once saved his life and culminated in his magnificent book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (public library) — an immensely insightful exploration of the physiological and psychological phenomena behind the all too common human impulse that once compelled the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to profess: “Without music I should wish to die.”
The rest of the piece is here. And it’s wonderful.
Everything in its Place (Knopf), the final volume of essays from Sacks, was published in April of this year. You can buy it here.