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Opening Arguments

RIP, Ray Bradbury

Damn, damn, damn:

Ray Bradbury, the author of classics such as “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked this Way Comes” and “The Martian Chronicles,” died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

Bradbury was the first author I ever read whose beautiful way with words made me want to become an avid reader and maybe even planted the idea that some day I might write for a living. Looking bac as an adult critic, I can see that much of his writing was overly ornate and that his plotting was often too fanciful for the tastes of a hardcore science fiction fan. But the man and talent and vision and he was a towering influence on speculative fiction.

Bradbury especially loved autum, and his descriptions of that season have always really grabbed me:

Martin knew it was autumn again, for Dog ran into the house bringing wind and frost and a smell of apples turned to cider under trees. In dark clock-springs of hair, Dog fetched goldenrod, dust of farewell-summer, acorn-husk, hair of squirrel, feather of departed robin, sawdust from fresh-cut cordwood, and leaves like charcoals shaken from a blaze of maple trees. Dog jumped. Showers of brittle fern, blackberry vine, marsh-grass sprang over the bed where Martin shouted. No doubt, no doubt of it at all, this incredible beast was October!"

Posted in: Books, Current events


James Begert, Writer
Wed, 06/06/2012 - 11:12am

Its a sad day.  My heart hurts and I have tears in my eyes.  I have that lump in my throat, the one who visits along with tragic circumstances.  We lost a giant today.  

A couple years ago, I sent off to Ray Brabdury to get his autograph.  He was always kind to his fans.  About a month later all my items arrived back signed.  I wrote a Thank You note in gratitude and explained that I was always a writer and that I wrote because I loved to.  That Christmas, about 6 months later, I was shocked to receive a Christmas card from Mr. Bradbury. The strange this was it was dated 2008.   Rather it was a simple piece of paper with red text, it was entitles CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2008 From Ray Bradbury.  The words on that simple piece of paper motivated me.  In fact, this is the first time I have taken it out because I just want to share the humanity this man had.  James Begert, writer.


From Ray Bradbury

Imagine that you have been dead for a year, ten years, one hundred years, a thousand years.  The grave and night have taken and kept you in that silence and dark which says nothing and so reveals absolutely zero.  

In the middle of all this darkness and being alone and bereft of sense, let us imagine that God comes to your still soul and lonely body and says:

I will give you one minute of ife.  I will restore you to your body and senses for sixty seconds.  Out of all the minutes in your life, choose one, I will put you in that minute, and you will be alive again after a hundred, a thousand years of darkness.  Which is it?

Think.  Speak.  Which do you choose?

And the answer is:

Any minute.  Any minute at all!  Oh, God, Sweet Christ, oh mystery, give me any minute in all my life.

And the furthur answer is:

When I lived I didn't know thay every minute was special, precious a gift, a miracle, an incredible thing, an impossible work, an amazing dream.

But not, Like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Morn, with snow in the air and the promise of rebirth given, I know what I should have known in my dumb shambles:

That all is a lark, and it is a beauty beyond tears, and also a terror.  But I dance about, I become a child, I am the boy who runs for the great bird in the window and I am the man who send the boy running for that bird, and I am the life that blows in the snowing wind along that street, and the bells that sound and say:  live, love, for too soon will your name which is shaped in the snow melt, of your soul which is inscribed like a breath of vapor on a cold glass pane fade.

Run, run, lad, run, down the middle of Christmas at the center of life.