I thought that the act of writing would be like reading, but more intense. You know that feeling you get when you’re transported by a story? You’re snug under a blanket on a gray day, sipping cocoa and surrounded by contented, sleeping dogs. The German word is gemütlichkeit; in Danish, it’s hygge. An NPR article on hygge, describes it as the pursuit of everyday happiness, the art of creating a nice atmosphere. Hygge builds in elements of togetherness, savors simple pleasures, and emphasizes relaxation and comfort on an everyday basis.
This book by Paul Kalanithi was published posthumously, after he passed away from metastatic lung cancer. The book was written as he was dying from the disease and his narrative includes scenes from his early, formative years, as well as his excruciating descent into pain, debilitation and surprisingly, the joys of fatherhood. He was only thirty-five and his death deprived this world of everything else that he might have contributed, had he lived longer. Kalanithi was one of those rare people who really could have been anything he wanted to be when he grew up. Most of us are told this myth while we’re growing up (I can be an NBA player?) and most of us lack the talent (but I can’t dribble without accidentally kicking the ball) and/or lack the prerequisites (I’m only 5’3″ on a good day) and/or lack the discipline to make the dream a reality (Practice? Nah, rather read a book). Continue reading “Schrödinger’s Disease and the Introvert”→