On June 5th at the age of 91. He was one of my favourite authors and I deeply love his work. I first encountered him when I read Fahrenheit 451 for a school assignment and fell in love. He wrote about the world I saw and lived in and yet somehow lived in alone and could not share. He wrote about people like me, strange, and numb, and vulnerable to every breath of wind with hearts so painfully breakable. He gave me words to tell my own story, he made me feel less alone when I was so terribly alone, the only one of my kind with a heart like a net, catching all the flotsam of the world and a mind like a kaleidoscope full of lights forever falling. His characters were my friends, in the years where there were no friends. His books were hearths by which I warmed myself when all my world was cold. He spoke of life, and what it is to be human. He spoke in poems, my native language, spoke of sadness and the wind blowing through you, spoke of joy and the smell of cotton candy and the song of memory and nostalgia and nights that call you from bed. I loved him. When I’m lost in a world that isn’t mine, in a place of deadness, where all the adults are corpses of children and the day has sucked me dry and the night is without comfort and the rain does not come his books bring me home, his words sing me back into my soul, back into my body, sing my hands to life and make me weep. I loved him. Homeless, I took a book of Bradbury with me at all times, a tiny anchor, a paper bag to keep my heart safe, slept by it every night, where it went I was alive, where I lay it down at night I was home.
There will be no new books now, no more poems. I never told him how he saved me, how he wrote me into life, like a string through a maze when I had lost my way. Just a writer did this for me, broke the glass and whispered in my ear that I was not the only of my kind, not alone and not the only one. Gave me hope and set a candle in my heart that life is to be lived and not endured, that the moon sings us from the drudge of day and in the wind are wild longings that call us from sleep and float us through nights of endless stars. Sorrow, sweet sorrow and regret and love and blessings and books that grace my shelves. He who wrote with such compassion has died and I mourn him.
He heard voices and wrote them into his books.
Too many fresh dug graves in my life too. Rest in peace Mr Bradbury, you made a difference to my world.