Just after the revolutionary work he recounted in Awakenings, Oliver Sacks wrote in a note to the music therapist at Beth Abraham Hospital: “Every disease is a music problem; every cure is a musical solution.
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There is a myth we live with, the myth of finding the meaning of life — as if meaning were an undiscovered law of physics.
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“Whoever has learned how to listen to trees,” Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877–August 9, 1962) wrote in what remains one of humanity’s most beautiful love letters to trees, “no longer wants to be a tree. He* wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
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All human lives are too various and alive with contradiction to be neatly classed into the categories in which we try to contain the chaos of life, and yet we spend so much of our own unclassifiable lives classing the lives of others.
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“Time is being and being time, it is all one thing, the shining, the seeing, the dark abounding,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her splendid “Hymn to Time” shortly before she returned her borrowed being to eternity.
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Not often — a handful of times in a lifetime, if you are lucky — you come upon a work of thought and feeling — a book, a painting, a song — that becomes a fountain to which you return again and again, and which returns you to your life refreshed each time.
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“Our emotional life maps our incompleteness,” philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote in her luminous letter of advice to the young. “A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger.
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