Ray Bradbury passed away today at the age of 91.
It’s no secret that Bradbury was one of my literary heroes. His book, Zen in the Art of Writing, is the subject of my first blog post on Surly Muse. He’s high on the list of authors I quote most often. Zen is one of the few writing books I re-read, almost yearly, to rekindle the fires of inspiration. Bradbury shaped my entire way of thinking when it comes to writing.
There are others far more capable of recounting his legendary influence, so I won’t attempt to recap his lifetime of achievement here.
I will only say this.
As writers, we yearn to touch the lives of others, to give of ourselves in the hope that our words will have some effect — on the world, on the market, on a single soul — and in the giving, we are ourselves enriched and made whole. No one understood this like Bradbury, who said: ” if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy. Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow. An hour’s writing is tonic.” He embraced the joy and necessity of writing, of the frantic need that drives us all to put words on the page, and the power those words can have.
Ray, I owe you more than I could ever possibly repay. Possibly everything. You will be missed.