Thursday, June 7, 2012


Thus passes the glory of the world. All things are fleeting. The center cannot hold.

Or, to say it prosaically; things change.

Venus made a transit in front of the sun this week. I did not see it myself because we experienced a deluge of rain. Rain warnings were in effect, not that we needed them -- our heads and the backs of our necks told the story quite nicely when we went outside without an umbrella. Nevertheless, it happened and will not happen again for over a hundred years.

Ray Bradbury made a transit as well. He moved from this world to the next -- the Undiscovered Country from whose bourn no traveller returns. Whatever there is in that country -- celestial figures with white robes and harps or a surfeit of nothingness -- I'm sure he will have no trouble speaking the language.

Bradbury was a poet. He was the poet of speculative fiction who translated his dreams into words and sometimes frightened us but always filled us a sense of wonder. I say "us" but what I really mean is "me". I don't really speak for all of us.

Bradbury did, though. Bradbury dreamed and wrote it down and those of us who read dreamed along with him. I have been to Mars, and it is not a dusty, rusty collection of sand and rocks, it is a lonely landscape populated by golden-eyed beings who ride skimmers over the sand.

Because of him I know that there is wonder and darkness and sometimes terror to be found in attics and in carnivals that come through small towns. There are pumpkin fields to run through and endless days of summer in which to play.

The future will have spaceships and time travel and machines that can take you from your ultra-chic modern house to a veldt in africa. And if you are a negligent parent you should watch out for those lions in the distance. They look kind of hungry, don't they?

Transitions happen all the time. Sometimes they are small and we barely notice them. Sometimes they come at us unexpected and sometimes they loom so large on the horizon they feel like they will overwhelm us with their size.

We adapt or we die like the dinosaurs. We roll with the changes. It's up to us whether we let those transits make us hard like stone or, through it all, keep our childlike sense of wonder about the world.

Try to weather your transits as best you can. Try to retain a childlike sense of wonder about the world or, if you don't have one, try to cultivate one. Yes there are frightening things in the world. There are dark carnivals that come to town and try to steal your soul. There are hungry lions in the veldt. There are forces that will try to control your thoughts by burning all the books.

But they, too will transit, and the old men who have memorized the books will come out of hiding, leave the road and come back to the libraries to fill the empty shelves again.

I apologize for the rambling nature of this post. A confluence of transits, one of which is the passing of Mister Bradbury, whose work has had a great influence on me all of my life, have put me in a reflective mood.

But this, too shall pass, and I will be back to posting silly drawings (and maybe one or two "serious" ones). 

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?

1 comment:

Pat Tillett said...

He was an amazing man. When I discovered his books as a kid, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. What a mind he had...
Hope you are doing well!

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