Ray Bradbury Has Left His Mark

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.
Ray Bradbury

I read today that Ray Bradbury has died.  Bradbury was the author of Fahrenheit 451 (a personal favorite of mine) among a collection of other novels & short stories. An amazing writer, he definitely leaves this world having left his mark. The quotes on this page are from Fahrenheit 451.

Some Cool Facts about Ray Bradbury:

  • Didn’t drive a car, but preferred to ride his bicycle as a means of transportation. Even better: he didn’t lock up his bike; he’d just lean it outside the shop.

  • Never threw anything away. His office and desk were cluttered with toys, gadgets, treasures & the like.
  • Michael Moore cheesed him off when he never asked him to use the basis for the title in his documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. Classy, Michael Moore, classy.

Here’s to you, Mr. Bradbury.


Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
Ray Bradbury

Some day the load we’re carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn’t use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And some day we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up. Come on now, we’re going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.
Ray Bradbury

You’re afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people’s faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
Ray Bradbury

There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before Christ: every few hundred years he built a pyre and burned himself up. He must have been first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years, and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, some day we’ll stop making the goddam funeral pyres and jumping into the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that remember, every generation.
Ray Bradbury


Quotes from Fahrenheit 451 from Wikiquote.com.
Other sources: enotes.com, latimes.com, laughingsquid.com