I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?
I'm not anyone, I'm just myself; whatever I am, I am something, and now I'm something you can't help.
Far away, in the meadow, shadows flickered in the Mirror's Maze, as if parts of someone's life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.
It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Perhaps I'm not their dead one back, but I'm something almost better to them; an ideal shaped by their minds.
He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.
Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.
She didn't watch the dead, ancient bone-chess cities slide under, or the old canals filled with emptiness and dreams. Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew, like a shadow of the moon, like a torch burning.
Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?
The Martians were there-in the canal-reflected in the water.... The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water....
So the carnival steams by, shakes ANY tree: it rains jackasses.
The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.
The father hesitated only a moment. He felt the vague pain in his chest. If I run, he thought, what will happen? Is Death important? No. Everything that happens before Death is what counts. And we've done fine tonight. Even Death can't spoil it.
They stood there, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Ruler of All They Surveyed, Unimpeachable Monarchs and Presidents, trying to understand what it meant to own a world and how big a world really was.
The train skimmed on softly, slithering, black pennants fluttering, black confetti lost on its own sick-sweet candy wind, down the hill, with the two boys pursuing, the air was so cold they ate ice cream with each breath.
We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.
They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale.
Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience.
Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?
You'll be found, your nickels, dimes and Indian-heads fused by electroplating. Abe Lincolns melted into Miss Columbias, eagles plucked raw on the backs of quarters, all run to quicksilver in your jeans. More! Any boy hit by lightning, lift his lid and there on his eyeball, pretty as the Lord's Prayer on a pin, find the last scene the boy ever saw! A box-Brownie photo, by God, of that fire climbing down the sky to blow you like a penny whistle, suck your soul back up along the bright stair!
Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?
Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.
Way out in the country tonight he could smell the pumpkins ripening toward the knife and the triangle eye and the singeing candle.
He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough.
Last night I thought about all the kerosene I've used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before...It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it's all over.
Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people's heads, any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths, silverfish, rust and dry rot and men with matches.
Thinking little at all about nothing in particular.
Death doesn't exist. It never did, it never will. But we've drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we've got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.
For John was running, and this was terrible. Because if you ran, time ran. You yelled and screamed and raced and rolled and tumbled and all of a sudden the sun was gone and the whistle was blowing and you were on your long way home to supper. When you weren't looking, the sun got around behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!
A book is a loaded gun in the house next door...Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?
He was part of us and when he died all the actions stopped dead, and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. i've never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million actions the night he passed on.
Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds.
That's the good part of dying; when you've nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.
This was all he wanted now. Some signs that the immense world would accept him and give him the long time he needed to think all the things that must be thought.
Everything that happens before Death is what counts.
I got a statistic for you right now. Grab your pencil, Doug. There are five billion trees in the world. I looked it up. Under every tree is a shadow, right? So, then, what makes night? I'll tell you: shadows crawling out from under five billion trees! Think of it! Shadows running around in the air, muddying the waters you might say. If only we could figure a way to keep those darn five billion shadows under those trees, we could stay up half the night, Doug, because there'd be no night!
And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before.
How many times can a man go down and still be alive?
Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damm insane mistakes!
That's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.
To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. Yes.
I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.
And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?
I don't talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.
Montag, falling flat, going down, saw or felt, or imagined he saw or felt the walls go dark in Millie's face, heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of time left, she saw her own face reflected there, in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself, that at last she recognized it was her own...
The average TV commercial of sixty seconds has one hundred and twenty half-second clips in it, or one-third of a second. We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.
We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you now to know with which ear you'll listen.
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (Based on Topics)
Books - World - Time - Thought & Thinking - Life - Night - Mind - Man - People - Death & Dying - Love - Idea - Education - God - Majority & Minority - Curiosity - Beauty - Speaking - Sleep - View All Ray Bradbury Quotations
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Dandelion Wine
- Fahrenheit 451
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- The Martian Chronicles
Dale Carnegie - T. H. White - Margaret J. Wheatley - John Grisham - Ella Wheeler Wilcox - Dr. Seuss - Catherine Crowe - Bram Stoker - Bernardo Bertolucci - Agatha Christie