Tag Archives: Ray Bradbury

Hope?

Hope

it allows us to dream dreams

of heavens and royalty and love and other treasures

when we have nothing of the kind

when we have nothing

hope allows us to dream of having something

it can lift our spirits and guide our actions

hope allows for wonderful visions of the future

when the present is anything but wonderful

How glorious and empowering hope can be

***

Oh, but of dashed hopes

of false hope

of lost hope

of wrongful promises

of cracked dreams

of shattered faith

How disastrous that can be

How vengeful that can be

Of a man who had his trust, his faith, his everything

in his hope

and somehow, lost it all

How disastrous that can be

How vengeful that can be

He then sets his life mission to be

to thwart and reverse every action he had his hope in

Oh, to lose hope

How disastrous that can be

How vengeful that can be

one’s purpose seems to have vanished

one’s goal seems to be part of magician’s disappearing act

***

Hope

Hope is like a fire

it can create or it can destroy

it can give warmth and change things to a better state

or it can rip, rend, and sear its image on us.

Hope is like a fire

it can be the one thing between

life and death

sometimes the life giver

sometimes the death bringer

***

Hope seems to be able to bring us

to the highest heights

and yet the deepest depths

because power can work both ways

for and against us.

So is it right to hope at all?

***

To have shining, bright, up lifting hope

and yet to have

cracked, shattered, broken hope

Is it right to hope at all?

No

It is not right to have that kind of hope

hope that can be shattered like glass

is nothing to have hope in at all

something easily broken should not carry our dreams

for dreams are immense beings

that grow and change and have lives of their own

and a fragile container such as a glassy hope

is not fitting for dreams.

***

So dream dreams

and hope everyday

for things of risk

are things of reward


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

hope

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It Was Written In the Sky

On a long bus ride, I was reading Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 over again. I can tell how good of a book it is by how much it has impacted me. This is going to be my fourth post inspired by it. Few books do that, where you read it and instead of wanting to just devour more of its glorious ink marks on tree pulp that was inspired by life itself, you want to compile the building thoughts from the novel and write about it.

But this time instead of applying a truth learned, I wish to write how I came upon the truth.

So there I was on the ten hour bus ride with 33 high school students who smelled like peanut butter and too much cologne. Did I mention that it was a ten hour bus ride? I think I did, but I’ll say it again, a ten hour bus ride . . .

With a book in my face and head phones (or should I say “Seashells”?) turned up loud playing Beethoven, I tried to block out the rap music and the girly-girl talk.

Across the country we went, mile after mile, page after page, song after song.

I was looking for wisdom and wonder in between the lines of a 63 year old book. Trying to block out the youthful folly around me.

Coming to one of the quotes from other books, I search for the quote on Google. While it loads, I look up.

So focused I had been on the book and on the teenagers that I tried to block out, that I had blocked out what had been transforming around me. Winter dreariness with bald trees and fallow fields, had been transformed to spring animation with blooming trees and sowed fields.

So focused on the inside, I had not looked outside. I had only seen one option, and by my lack of observation, I had deprived myself of choice.

In trying to find wisdom I originally looked to a book, and forgot the world.

What I was trying to find in a book was already written in the sky, all I had to do was look. Wisdom and wonder and life was written in the sky. No ink or graphite or typewriter or digital “little black box” needed. Only eyes or ears or hands or mouth or nose needed, to understand what was written in the sky.

Oh, how precious are books, yet even more precious are the things that inspire them.

After marveling at what had been out my window all those hours and miles and pages and songs, I looked back at my phone, and of course it was still loading.

I looked back out the window and wanted my phone to keep loading so that I would never have to look away.


“‘It’s not books you need, it’s some the things that once were in books . . . No, no it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.'”

-Page 79 in Fahrenheit 451

His Creation

During my vacation (which quite a few poems will be written about) the words of Mary Shelley in Frankenstein were ringing in my ears. In different passages of her book she warns, “If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasure . . . then that study is . . . not befitting the human mind”. Now none of us are going to construct a man of dead bodies, but the busyness of our job, family, calendar, even our thoughts can keep us from enjoying simple pleasures. We don’t need to go on vacation to experience them, but vacation can be a good awakener.

Also during my time away I had the pleasure of reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. One of the many lines that stuck out was this: ““Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning.” He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable.” To me it is astonishing to think that someone doesn’t know that there is dew on the ground in the morning.

I don’t want to lose connection with God’s creation like that. Then I realized, I already have. Yes, I know there is dew; except I don’t find simple pleasure in sunsets, the sound of waves lapping at the beach, chirping of insects at night, the beauty of trees. I could just blame it on me being more of an ‘idea-person’ and not a nature-person, but it is so much more than that. I mean, I was on vacation – with basically all the time in the world – and I took no pleasure or time in watching the sun sink beneath the clouds over the crystal clear calm water. God created the sunsets to cast colors over the sky and take time to set when He could have just made it be hidden for night. And I don’t enjoy that.

So I forced myself to enjoy it. I would stand there looking at the waves, the beach, the trees, the land in the distance across the water, any and all of the beauteous works of God’s creation; putting ideas, processes, and poems to the nature.

Now I never want to leave. I have found my God again, in His creation.

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!