As many of you have heard, author Ray Bradbury passed away yesterday at the age of 91. His novels have been beloved by millions of readers all over the world; as a writer and creative soul he has had an enduring influence on me and countless other storytellers.
This is something he wrote about death:
Everyone must leave something 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.
I haven't the slightest doubt that Ray Bradbury's work will continue to thrill readers and inspire other writers for many more generations. And Mr. Ray? Thank you for changing me. God speed and safe journey.