Yesterday afternoon, I was hungry for a snack and I had an hour to kick around while my laundry dried, so I made myself some popcorn and a large iced coffee and picked up The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. An hour and half later, I’m halfway through the book.
I feel like a madwoman reading so much lately, but it feels so good, like exactly what I should be doing right now. I’m getting my housework done, my projects, making sure I’m keeping in touch with people, but reading is what I really want to do. I want to tell you about it and I refuse to feel guilty about that.
I was already tearing up in awe reading the introduction.
“Don’t tell me what I’m doing; I don’t want to know!
What a way to live. The only way.
For pretending at ignorance, the intuition, curious at seeming neglect, rears its invisible head and snakes out through your palmprints in mythological forms.”
Art is as life. If we stop trying to define and control it, it comes out in amazing ways. Ray Bradbury is one of the most beautiful writers I’ve ever read. If Fahrenheit 451 is all you’ve ever read by him; you are seriously missing out. Personally, I think that was one his worst books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book by any means. It’s just not representative of how creatively gorgeous he can be.
My first taste of Ray Bradbury was when I read The Halloween Tree to my sons when they were little. I’d found it at a used bookstore just before Halloween and I fell deeper in love with the man after every page. Halloween was never the same!
I ordered The Martian Chronicles after I read Fahrenheit 451 because I heard that it was his best, or maybe his favorite. I can’t remember. I like science-fiction. I love Bradbury. This would a fun read. And I was not wrong. It’s gorgeous and funny and could be a whole season of Twilight Zone episodes.
Googling the title to share a link to the book with you, I discovered it WAS a TV miniseries from the 80’s. I’m sure it’s terrible, even if it has Rock Hudson in it. You know I’m going to watch it, right? I can’t imagine putting these words into a visual format. It’s too…far out?
You’ll love this book if you love Twilight Zone. It has that same feel, the 50’s family and national fears of atomic war and space travel, and so much that translates to our current climate.
It was hard to choose just one quote to share from my reading this morning. There were so many wonderful lines and it all blends so beautifully. This is from a chapter where the astronauts have arrived on Mars again and one of them is angry that they will bring more people, governments, and businesses to destroy the beauty of the civilization the Martians have left behind.
“They blended religion and art and science because, at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”
The Martians civilization is much older than ours and has seemingly solved the issues humans are only getting started on discovering. Instead of religion being supplanted by science and art being thrown out as a waste of time, they’ve blended it and used each to support and expound on the other.
I think it’s wrong to think humans destroy the earth any more than any other evolved species. We are part of this natural world. We were created as a part of it, evolved in it, with it, and we will continue to do so. If chickens had evolved the same way, they’d do the same thing we do in different ways.
Our evolution has led us to this point, as any other species here now. We will continue to evolve, change, and adapt to our environment, attempting to learn more about this miracle as we go. We’ll find ways to stay alive longer and live better. We’ll learn to live together and make life better for more and more people.
Or we won’t and we’ll go extinct like species that have come before us and the earth will go on without us.
Ray Bradbury is a magic maker. I can’t wait to read the rest!