Have you ever had one of those moments where you have an experience, whether you’re exposed to some kind of media or something happens to you, and something in your mind clicks in such a way that you realize what you’re looking at or listening to, what you’re going through, is Important? Where that thing, whatever it is, opens you up, crawls inside, and burrows in deep to stay? Reading Fahrenheit 451 was like that for me, emphasizing, in many ways, the importance of reading, books, and knowledge.
Today I read that Ray Bradbury has passed away. Saying that I am sad is simplistic and trite but the most succinct way I can put it. I never got a chance to meet the man, to tell him he is one of the reasons why I love books and it’s dangerous for my wallet for me to walk into a bookstore. I’m sure it’s something he’d heard before from many other people but still.
I could go on but I’ll end this here with two quotes. RIP, Mr. Bradbury, and thank you.
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
““If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”