Heroes and observations

Aug 19, 2004

Oliver Sacks has a website, and another fine article (not online) in the New Yorker, this time about perceptions of speed1. His article last year about blindness was damn illuminating, and I can’t get the vision of a blind man walking around on his roof at midnight out of my own mind’s own2.

Sacks is my hero – he’s brilliant, well-read and observant. Earlier this week, the new poet laureate of the U.S. mentioned his writing teacher telling him to observe six things a day and then write about those people, places, activities, thoughts, whatever.

I’ve been thinking I need to practice that same life of observation. That could be a good theme for this weblog. (I tried to repurpose the Fifth Estate website last year with a theme of observation. A handful of j-school students contributed some nice articles, but I didn’t devote as much energy to the online publication as it needed to thrive. Observation number one for today.)

Erin often quizzes me soon after I walk through the door in the late afternoon, to see how observant I am of the household improvements she’s able to accomplish while juggling two energetic little girls and a demanding part-time research job. Erin, you’re amazing. (Observation number 2 – though I’ve known this one for 13 years now.)

1 Sacks, Oliver. Speed. New Yorker, vol. 80, no. 23 (Aug 23, 2004) pp. 48-59.

2 Sacks, Oliver. The Mind’s Eye. New Yorker, vol. 79, no. 20 (July 28, 2003) pp. 48-59.

Anton Zuiker

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