On Wednesday the book world received news of the passing of a master. Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and many more literary classics — died in Los Angeles, at the age of 91.
I had the honor to meet Ray at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference where, despite age and health challenges, he continued to be a guest speaker. From the podium he urged us to write because we loved to, to let nothing but our imagination limit us and to dream big.
Here is Ray in a 2-minute clip from then.
In the introduction to The Illustrated Man, entitled “Dancing, So As Not to Be Dead,” Ray wrote a poignant line about death.
“My tunes and numbers are here. They have filled my years, the years when I refused to die. And in order to do that I wrote, I wrote, I wrote, at noon or 3:00 A.M. So as not to be dead.”
I’m sure they have a keyboard and screen waiting for you in heaven, Ray. Keep on writing … here on earth, your work will never die.
Ray Bradbury R.I.P 2012
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).