Brain Food #688
Connecting the dots
Thoughts of the day
Prompted by the arrival of Thanksgiving, I recently read Gratitude by Oliver Sacks, a short series of essays in which he ruminates over what it means to be alive, after being told that his cancer had returned. Partly heartbreaking due to the context, partly uplifting thanks to the content itself, the essays are a solid reminder for all of us about how precious it is to be alive, but also to be us, in this world.
Sacks himself employs a view from above, after he hears the news: “Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts.”
Echoing Nietzsche’s Amor Fati, Sacks implies that all the dots eventually connect to form something meaningful, though they may not do so immediately. Like when looking at the starry sky trying to find a constellation, we sometimes need someone to point out what it is we are looking at. It takes a bit of imagination, and a little bit of faith.
Thank you for reading today’s Brain Food. Brain Food is a short daily newsletter that aims to make you think every day, without taking up too much of your time. If you know someone who would like it, why not forward it to them? Brain Food is, after all, alive thanks to you, its readers.