There is a moment in Louis CK's conversation with Conan, in which he says:
Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it... sadness is poetic, and you're lucky to live sad moments.
I thought of that as I listened to this beautiful piece from Radiolab, some final reflections from Oliver Sacks, on his life, his relationships and his wonderful ability to see the world with constant curiosity and empathy.
As I listened to my smartphone, riding the Express 30 into work down Willis Street, doing the daily mundane, I felt that sadness, sensed it rolling in.
So I sat, and let it roll over me.
It wasn't a dark, traumatic, violent emotion, as sadness sometimes can be.
Not any great sense of personal loss, because I'm not a devout disciple.
But an inner sense of loss, listening to the words of a man who's just passed on.
a sense of melancholy.
Not for anything as dramatic as "humanity".
But as a result of being human, of allowing myself connection, of relating.
I let the tears slide down my face, took my time to wipe them, not hurriedly, not ashamed.
Felt the bus roll on, and the routine of Wellington's CBD continue.
Stepped off lightened.
At peace with myself, grateful to be here, for this moment and the next.
Thank you Mr Sacks.