My letter to Doctor Oliver Sacks

Recently, I sent an email to doctor Oliver Sacks. Here it is:

Dear doctor Sacks,

The chances are very high that you do not remember me but you influenced my writing greatly. In 2012, I sent you an email and your kind assistant Kate replied promptly. Then and there, I wanted to compliment your writing. And here and now, I write once again hoping this email finds you well, given the circumstances.

When I first picked up a copy of Vintage Sacks, I was instantly hooked. Sometimes it is difficult for individuals to express the world so intrinsic to them to the outside world. Yet you found a way to do this. From the patients mesmerized by a president’s speech to the unexpected fascinating world of tungsten, every page I read pulled me harder into a world that seemed fantasy, yet it was science, it was only phenomena that surrounds us and someone took the liberty of writing it down.

Reading your article in The New York Times was a bittersweet experience. There is an unavoidable fact: our cycle of life ends. Yet those we look up to, be it relatives, professional influences and friends, have a certain sense of eternity. Their work seems unaltered by time; it will always be there for fuel and inspiration, therefore the individuals themselves seem to be invincible to the punishment of time.

But also, every word in your article sparked energy, questions and the desire to seek answers. Though I am 52 years your younger, I find it extremely heartwarming that your text regarding the end of your cycle motivates me to never give on mine.

It is up to us, dear Mr. Sacks, to choose how we live every second and I hope—I know—that the choices you will make will be the richest, deepest and most productive. I do not know why, but society now does not allow us extreme immoderation in our passions. It seems as though we need society itself to grant us permission to indulge in our passions—passions which, I might add, sometimes have to be approved by society itself—so that we can let go of what holds down and enjoying every second freely. It should not be this way!

I write to you to express my gratitude and appreciation for your work and your writing. I hope that, as you stated, you continue to feel intensely alive. And I also hope that all around us, we embark into your philosophy. We must deepen our friendships and stay in touch with those we love. We must punch the keys and tattoo our words into the blank screen then wear out pens over papers sheets. Our feet must be light and our luggage must be small because thousands of destinations await us. I hope we all can find a clear focus and perspective.

Thank you for the influence, for the motivation—indirect as it may be, because I am sure you did not expect an email from Costa Rica—and for making the rest of world realize that we must never wait.

I wish you the best.

If you want to read his beautiful article written for the New York Times, check it out here.

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Author: Bernardo Montes de Oca

Journalism. Writing. Life. Periodismo. Escritura. Vida.

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