Ray Bradbury – R.I.P.

“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury
We lost another thinker.  They become ever more rare, though I acknowledge maybe my reception of new thinkers simply grows ever colder.  I think about his book, Fahrenheit 451, where books are burned instead of read, and no one asks questions out of fear of being thought not to know.  This was a clear reference to Germany in the 1940’s when some of the largest book burnings of recent history took place.  However, that burning was to remove knowledge and prevent its spread not to feign knowledge of life’s answers.  I compare the happenings of that book to today as I wonder whether there is a difference between burning a book so that it can never be read again or simply burying it amongst mountains of drivel published in a plethora of mediums ranging from books to blogs to newspapers to social media to…  

 If genius is before us, will we recognize it?  Will it in effect be silenced?  Could universal access to knowledge actually make knowledge about what is true more difficult to find rather than less?  Perhaps that is the bit of truth to be gleaned. We simply can not know all.  Still, we can imagine, and Ray Bradbury was a champion of leading forth a vanguard for a generation of explorers of the mind.

As another light we used for decades to guide us down the corridor of experience goes out, I remain hopeful.  Perhaps, time is merely forcing us to Switch on the Night.  If we are to lose great thinkers of ever by gone eras, let us hope we are doing so to more clearly see the stars and better hear the divine as we listen to the crickets and other sounds of the night.  Let us recognize the beauty, the new beauty as we go forth to play amongst the shadows with the other children laughing by the light of the moon.   
My favorite quotes from Ray Bradbury on following page 

Favorite Ray Bradbury quotes:

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”
Fahrenheit 451

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”
Zen in the Art of Writing

“We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”
I Sing the Body Electric: And Other Stories

“The only good writing is intuitive writing. It would be a big bore if you knew where it was going. It has to be exciting, instantaneous and it has to be a surprise. Then it all comes blurting out and it’s beautiful. I’ve had a sign by my typewriter for 25 years now which reads, ‘DON’T THINK!’”
– The Writer’s Digest Interview by Robert Jacobs, February 1976

“We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.”

“See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
Fahrenheit 451

I end with one of his quotes on death:
“And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.”
 Fahrenheit 451


2 thoughts on “Ray Bradbury – R.I.P.”

  1. A friend of mine liked it enough to have me come down and read it on-air for his radio show. Reading something I wrote on-air was fun, and I had to laugh because evidently my voice sounds nothing like what I hear when I talk.

    I would try and link it, but his tech group is on vacation so it isn't available on-line.

  2. This is a beautiful testament to a wonderful, brilliant, talented man who shared so much of his genius with all of us, for all of us.

    This post deserves a wider audience.

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