“I saw the entire sky ‘powdered with stars….’”

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Bill Hayes and Oliver Sacks
Bill Hayes & Oliver Sacks
Lovers, Adventurers and Partners

This is Oliver Sack’s writing desk, as photographed by his partner Bill Hayes. They met seven years ago – when Sacks was 75. Sacks died Sunday at 82.

“Rendering into words is absolutely an instinct with me,” he said. “I used to be called ‘Inky’ when I was a boy. I was always sort of covered with ink. I still sort of write my books by hand. I’m not very fond of computers.”

Sacks also didn’t like cellphones and other devices that he saw as “impediments to human interaction.”

Sacks esoterically wrote all of his books by hand. and this set of notes, became a July piece in the New York Times entitled “My Periodic Table” (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/opinion/my-periodic-table.html?_r=0)

I am strangely preoccupied and touched by the passing of Oliver Sacks. I find myself reading everything I can find. I found myself this morning reading his partner’s blog and deconstructing every detail of these photos Bill Hayes took of Oliver.

http://www.billhayes.com/photographs/portraits-of-people-nudes/

I imagine if I’d had to wait till 74 years old to find the love of my life. How wonderful these past eight years must have been?

I wrote Mr. Hayes a condolence letter this morning.

I have always disliked how familiar I am with death. Losing my first friend to AIDS at the age of 21. Friends buried on hillsides in Port Townshend, under trees in Connecticut and on the breeze in the Olympic Mountains. Surviving testing positive myself, surviving cancer myself in 1998, and living. Sometimes all of it seems most impossible. as I said, I’m familiar with death.

This passing is stuck in my craw; and I’m not exactly sure why.

August 31, 2015