Bon Voyage Ray Bradbury

We’ve lost so many talented artists recently. Some died young and some after having lived long and fully. Ray Bradbury was one of the latter and so, left us with a magnificent legacy; a body of work that just about every SF/F writer and reader could quote from.


This is from ‘Fahrenheit 451‘, one of his best known and challenging novels.

Everyone must leave something in the room or left 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.”

May we all be gardeners such as Ray.

12 comments on “Bon Voyage Ray Bradbury

  1. It always chokes me up to read someone’s words pertaining to death after they have died.

    I love this line:

    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.

    May we all find a way to touch the world as you have, Ray.


  2. jannatwrites says:

    I have to admit that I’m not familiar with Ray Bradbury’s work, but I love the passage you included in this post. Very thought-provoking. I think we all hope to leave something of ourselves when we go.


    • Widdershins says:

      As a species, we’re not all that well equipped to think that when we die we cease to exist … it’s a troublesome concept that I hope we all get the opportunity to work through before we embark on this kind of journey.


  3. londonmabel says:

    I’d already thought he was dead when I checked the news today! The only thing I read was Fahrenheit, and it was for English class with a terrible teacher. But all the same I wish him well on hour journey.


  4. Without sci-fi writers like Ray Bradbury, the world we know today would not exist, because it was after they imagined it that someone said, “Let’s try making that come true.” Science fiction can sometimes be called science prediction.

    Love the quote – it’s perfect. May we all plant something lovely with love.


    • Widdershins says:

      I looked long and hard for that quote. I’d tucked it away ‘somewhere safe’ a while back and didn’t find it until recently … those pesky ‘somewhere safe’ places have a lot to answer for I reckon!


  5. Such a passion for words! I re-read “Something Wicked This Way Comes” a couple years ago and was astounded at his perfect word choices. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a writer who’s zest and curiouslity for life and art translate so vibrantly to the page. What a gift he shared with all of us. (If you’ve never read the above – hurry! Don’t wait! I think it’s his best novel.)


    • Widdershins says:

      Hiya Baxter … thanks for dropping by and commenting … I read that story,waaaay back when, but now that you’ve mentioned it, I think it’s time for a re-read.


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