memo

i cried this morning. im getting a late start to my day because i think i need to put some more words out there. it’s not something i’ve ever been terribly good at or comfortable with. i think part of the reason for that is also the reason i’m writing this.

ray bradbury died. i know it was two weeks ago, but it didn’t hit me until this morning as i listened to neil gaiman read a short story he wrote about him (http://soundcloud.com/neilgaiman/the-man-who-forgot-ray-bradbury). i’ve always thought it was more than a bit ridiculous for people to get emotional about the deaths of celebrities they didn’t know at all. i guess i’ve never connected with a celebrity like this before ray bradbury. in explanation, i think part of the reason i’ve never been comfortable putting my words down for people to see is that ray had the words i didn’t. not just the ones i wanted, but the words i didn’t know were there.

for those of you who haven’t read any of his stories but fahrenheit 451, you don’t know ray bradbury. you simply must read more. you owe it to yourself, to ray, and to humanity.

i don’t expect this blog post to be a proper memorial to how i feel about him, so i titled it “memo” instead. that seemed a bit closer to what i feel capable of. i mean, i’ve always had a big imagination. i’m kind of a dreamer. okay, “kind of” doesn’t do it justice, i’m a dreamer. i don’t mean just in daydreams or night dreams. all of my thoughts are dreams, really. there’s sort of a grandiosity of beauty that characterizes the things i imagine. i can’t explain it without sounding pompous, like i’m bragging or something. i promise i’m not. i’m just trying to describe it for you. i guess you might call it the justice of beauty. there is a proper rightness to the beauty of existence that i imagine in everything. and i saw that in what ray bradbury wrote. i feel like i owe him thanks for giving his words to my dreams, for showing me that these kinds of things can be expressed with words, even if i’m not the one who can do it. additionally, i owe him thanks for writing stories that are more real on paper than they even could be in my head. usually as you read, your imagination picks you up and fills in all of the things between the lines that isn’t written down; a picture is worth a thousand words, and your mind makes that picture for you if you aren’t given one. i think bradbury is the exception to this saying. i think any story of bradbury’s is worth at least a thousand pictures per word. your mind doesn’t fill in between the lines. there’s no room between the lines for your own pictures. his pictures are already there. he says more than the words he writes account for.

i’ll leave you with that, then. if you are looking for something to read, i think summer is a great time to read “dandelion wine.” if you want something heavier, try “the martian chronicles.” if you want to read the only book that has left me shaking, sweating, and terrified (in my high school spanish class, where i was supposed to be paying attention, not reading a book), try “something wicked this way comes.” maybe it’s just me. maybe you won’t get from these books what i did. in any case, i’m sure it will be worth your time.

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