Oliver Sacks: My periodic table

This is a great op-ed by Oliver Sacks, a much admired physician, best selling author and professor of neurology at NYU School of Medicine.

A snippet:

I have tended since early boyhood to deal with loss– losing people dear to me– by turning to the nonhuman. When I was sent away to boarding school as  a child of 6, at the outset of the Second World War, numbers became my friends; when I returned to London at 10, the elements and period table became my companions. Times of stress throughout my life have led me to turn, or return, to the physical sciences, a world where there is no life, but also no death.