Oliver Sacks is a genius. I’ve known this for as long as I remember. Weirdly, however, when I first read this I didn’t know it was by Sacks. My respect for him, of course, only grew.
Saturday the 24th of August started overcast and sullen in the Norwegian village where I was staying a few years ago, but there was promise of fine weather later in the day. I could start my climb early, through the low-lying orchards and woods, and by noon, I reckoned, reach the top of the mountain. By then, perhaps, the weather would have cleared, and there would be a magnificent view from the summit—the lower mountains all around me, sweeping down into Hardanger fiord, and the great fiord itself visible in its entirety. “Climb” suggests scaling rocks, and ropes. But it was not that sort of climb, simply a steep mountain path. I foresaw no particular problems or difficulties. I was as strong as a bull, in the prime, the pride, the high noon of life. I looked forward to the walk with assurance and pleasure.