I have just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It was a great read. Unfortunately I recently watched the ‘Book of Eli’ and they are both similar in that they have a character memorising the contents of a book to save humanity. I wish I hadn’t watched the film until I finished this book so I didn’t make this comparison mid story.
Near the end of the book I read a paragraph that touched me:
Everyone must leave something in the room or left 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.
I like this. Its a message about living. About taking your time on Earth and doing something with it, no matter how small or trivial you may think it is. Do it. Create. Be. Live, Love, Explore.
I Google searched for the quote above as I don’t have the book with me at the moment. The searching uncovered a great website: wikiquote. I can’t believe I have never stumbled across this before! When I was looking down the page to get to my quote I glanced over other quotes from the same book, and some of them as stand alone statements are just as good as when in context, if not better!
Have a look:
· The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.
· This is happening to me.
· Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real.
· “Where do we begin?” He opened the book halfway and peered at it. “We begin by beginning, I guess.”
I whole heartily take my hat off to Ray Bradbury, I think he created a wonderful story that illustrates our society today and where we could be headed if we don’t take time to think for ourselves, and if we let the modern world engulf us.
The saddest thing is – I read the book on my kindle.
Do any of the quotes above mean anything to you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.