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Dear Mr. Bradbury,

If you could excuse me for just a moment, I’m going to be frank:

The first time I read any of your books, stories, or poems, I was 14 and it was the smallest summer reading choice I had. It looked like a “boy” book—which didn’t make sense, as I read anything—and it looked boring and all I thought when I read “Fahrenheit” on the front of the cover was how very much I don’t like science.

But, like I said, it was the shortest book, with the best summer reading questions, and I figured I could read it and then go back to re-reading Harry Potter and writing.

And then I read it.

And then, Mr. Bradbury, sir, I fell in love.

I fell in love with your ability to turn a phrase and your hope to see the best in humanity, in every single last one of us. In your diligence for writing and your never-ending stories and your appreciation for poetry and love.

Ever since then, I’ve been striving to be you. Well, not be you, but learn from you. I’ve read all of your works I can get my hands on, and force them on all of my friends. You are my teacher to guide my writing to better clarity and my guide to believe in the purest of souls and sounds.

For me, there is no distinction between your stories based in fiction and your teaching, whether it be about the heartache of losing your one true love or the logistics of writing every day without fail.

I use your writing for prompts and inspiration, and I followed your life for every step you might have taken in my circles. I almost started to take to lingering around the Air and Space Museum on the chance that you might stop by. I wish I could see it from your eyes.

Mr. Bradbury, sir, if I may, I’d like to say that I admire you.

I admire your work and your passion. Your ability and your imagination.

But most of all, I admire your life. You lived it fully and in love and in doing what you love, and blessed a great many of us with your words.

My friends and I had a joke when I was younger. That you were my grandfather. It was funny and sweet but in a way you were, my writer grandfather, like an old grandfather clock ticking away the next hour, you were ticking away at the next story.

I have a typewriter. It sits next to my couch in my cramped living room, next to a stack of mail and some yellow light. It makes me think of my grandmother and then of you, of your disdain for computers and of the letter I had always wanted to send you but I fear that, now, I’m sending too late.

No matter.

It will get to you somehow.

Rest in poetry and peace among the greats, where perhaps it is forever  Halloween.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

RIP Ray Bradbury August 20, 1920 – June 5, 2012

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