I took a break yesterday from endlessly proofing and revising the manuscript of my “secret project” and sat outside in the April sunshine to give myself a treat. In one sitting, I devoured Hallucinations, the latest book from neurologist Oliver Sacks, a writer who is one of the literary heroes whom I worship. I fell in love with sign language many years ago after reading his book, Seeing Voices. And I believe it was this book, salted away in the archives of my mind, that triggered the voice I heard one day in my car, telling me that the main character of a book on which I had been blocked for years was deaf. I give credit to Sacks for unlocking my first novel, Cheshire Moon, for me.
Every time I read one of his books, no matter what the topic, I find more inspiration. Yesterday, while reading Hallucinations, I came upon this passage on page 90.
“To live on a day to day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see overall patterns in our lives.”
And it was like discovering the Ba’al Shem Tov quote I keep elsewhere on my website all over again; it was as if Sacks had seen into my heart. Yes! Though my attempts at providing escape, meaning, or transcendence will always fall short, they are still what make the time I spend writing worthwhile.