Oliver Sacks Says Farewell

I am very sad to hear that one of my heroes, Dr. Oliver Sacks, has terminal cancer. The following article is a deeply moving announcement of his impending death; his eloquent words speak for themselves. He has lived a rich full life, and will continue to do so until the very end which may come in only a few months.

His rich legacy will stay with us forever, and his lifetime of knowledge continues to enhance our understanding of the human brain. He is a neurologist who cares deeply for his patients, and has been open about his own struggles with an inability to recognize faces, migraines and other conditions.

I consider his book
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat required reading for everyone. Other favorites of mind are Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations. His second memoir is due to be released in a few months as well.

I also highly recommend the film version of
Awakenings featuring the Robert de Niro and the late Robin Williams.

I was extremely fortunate to have attended one of his lectures in Los Angeles in the 1990s on the artwork of brain damaged individuals. Seeing him in real life only reaffirmed my belief that he is a kind soul and dedicated physician.

Thank you doctor Sacks, and Godspeed.

"There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death." - Oliver Sacks -

Read the full article in the New York Times HERE.

My Own Life
Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

The Healing Power of Music -- Again

The trailer for what promises to be a moving documentary.

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory (2014)
Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett
Screenplay: Michael Rossato-Bennett
Music composed by: Itaal Shur
Story by: George Strayton

“Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia -- many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.”

This touches me again, as when my mother had Alzheimer’s (really over a period of about 14 years), she continued to play the piano and sing even when she didn’t know her own name. Music was truly the last form of communication to disappear before she became completely unresponsive and bedridden.

And music has always been so important to me. What more needs saying?

This was the winner of The Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.