LiveJournal page, but no real thoughts about him. It still upsets me when I think he’s gone. I discovered him via Little Falls Library. One of the reasons I find myself re-buying his books is I checked out the ones in the library so often, I thought they were mine. The Martian Chronicles got the most traction. I was delighted every time he showed up in my school reading lists. He felt like home to me.
Through the years, in different ways, Bradbury kept showing up in my life. Later on, it would be watching his stories adapted on the Ray Bradbury Theater, which would always lead me to reading the originals again. And then there was Zen and the Art of Writing. I have a shelf in my office filled with writing and photography books for inspiration. This book is at the top.
“What you are looking for—what you are writing for—is for one person to come up and say: Hey, you’re okay—you’re not nuts the way people said. I love you. I love you for what you do.“
Almost weeping in the office at 8am is a terrible thing to see, but it almost happened. It does not get said very often, but the purpose of telling a story is not just to tell it into open air. A story needs to be heard, and it needs to evoke a response. We fear the negative response. I know I do, on a primal level. Writing and photography and these creative outlets are a life ring, and getting told “Your stories are terrible and derivative” and “Your photos are uninspiring” erodes the ring. It all leads to the great, “Well, why bother?”
Ray Bradbury answered that question for me. And every time I feel the big, grey sea of life pulling me down, I’m going to look at this quote.
Thank you, Mr. Bradbury. Thank you.