A Good Night’s Sleep, A Ten Minute Brawl, A Pint of Chocolate Ice Cream

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.

Ray Bradbury was absolutely one of the greats in fiction writing and several of his works are classics, not just in the sci-fi genre, but in literature at large. Something particularly amazing about him was how much he advised people to just love what they loved, and write what they love, and do what they love.

Here are some bits he wrote, in letters and articles.

One of my favorite things he ever wrote was The Illustrated Man. It was the first Bradbury I ever read, and I’ve never been able to forget the image of a man with tattoos writhing about his body.

If you want to pay tribute to Ray Bradbury, go the library and read something, anything. He was a big proponent of consuming all that a library has to offer.

You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

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