Inside His Own Head

December 12, 2009

Another post in remembrance of my father:

From the preface to Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw (Little, Brown & Company, 2009)

When I was a small child, I used to sneak into my father’s study and leaf through the papers on his desk. He is a mathematician. He wrote on graph paper, in pencil – long rows of neatly written numbers and figures. I would sit on the edge of his chair and look at each page with puzzlement and wonder. It seemed miraculous, first of all, that he got paid for what seemed, at the time, like gibberish. But more important, I couldn’t get over the fact that someone whom I loved so dearly did something every day, inside his own head, that I could not begin to understand.