Well, it seems Ray Bradbury has left us and the entire world seems a bit more silent, less poetic, more dreamless, and forever October-less without him in it.
I started reading his work when I was nine and it opened a up a visionary world of possibilities and feelings that were outside the norm in my home. He taught me a lot about the art of being a human being through his work.
In the early part of my life I pursued the arts and one lesson I learned through Bradbury was the limitations of media like film to communicate literary nuance and shading. Not only in the films attempted based on his original work, but also in the excellent screenplay adaptations he himself wrote like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Moby Dick.
But my admiration wasn't always from afar. By the time I was 22, I was lecturing on planetary science at the California Museum of Science and Industry (now the California science Center) and imagine my delight to find Ray Bradbury among the museum docents. It was a truly awesome experience (as in the correct use of the word) to provide text about an astronomy exhibit that Ray Bradbury was going to read through. He was generous, always.
I had kept all the books and short stories and later shared them with my children and Angie, and anyone else who would listen. It's always a joy to see someone fall in love the way you once fell in love.
I know he had gone through some illness for a while after I left California but I knew he had worked on an indie film with a young crew and hoped he'd never actually go away. After all, if Bradbury could pass away, what hope is there for the rest of us.
Thanks for the Martian, skin Illustrations, Dark Carnivals, and youth without youth, Mr. Bradbury. I couldn't have been me without them.