Oliver Sacks – a man in love with life
I was an eighteen years old girl, got into the Medical School one year before, I had read some of his books and I was totally enchanted by the possibility of listening to his words, and talk to him personally.
All that he said was so interesting and clever, at some points I could find myself, at others I could find people I have observed in my life. He talked about lives and people, but in a noble way. He looked at them with the eyes of a child, with wonder and respect, as when we step a sacred temple and describe virtuous secrets.
A man who really admires the miracle of life is not able to judge, but only to tell about the wonder of the mystery that haunts him. He, who is so small in front of the facts he does not understand and when asked about them, smiles humbly and simply says – I do not know, but I need to think more about it, or perhaps to observe more.
A man of science, but a Science long lost in the past, made of careful observation and reliable on experience. In which experience is more valuable than experiments, especially when dealing with lives, moments, feelings.
I don’t want to talk about the degrees and the titles of Doctor Oliver Wolf Sacks. Nowadays, you can find it all in internet, a physician, a neurologist, the books, etc, etc…
I want to talk about a person who dedicated his whole life to understand the human being in order to help it to live better and overcome all kind of limitations. A hopeless romantic, in love with life. A very shy person, as he used to say, that he was so awkward about asking a girl or a boy out.
A man surrounded by the love of his patients, his friends and colleagues. Most of them only knew the glory. Few knew the battles, personal and professional ones.
Someone who learned with his patients, more than what he could learn from teachers, from the medical and scientific status quo; and whatever these patients told him was more valuable and important than anything science could claim.
A vitalist in his heart for whom nothing could contradict experience and observation. His patients gave him their life chronicles with love, and he listened to them with respect, care and concern. In a society where doctors don’t look straight to their patients, he had the most compassionate eyes I have ever seen.
A man dedicated to serve people, to protect and admire life in all its expressions. He learned and made medicine, literature, poetry and music out of life, of their patients’ spectacular lives.
A man who mistook lives and personal struggles for art and did it with unconditional respect and love is worthy of being acknowledged and worshiped as a pioneer, as an intellectual, as a scientist, as a poet, as an artist, as a genius, as a noble soul, as a man in love with people, in love with life.
My Own Life