Bradbury’s Brainy Bites

Work is done for the day so time to ponder.  I was thinking about Ray Bradbury tonight.  He’s the author of two of my favorite texts: Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine.  He has penned so many inspiring words I have trouble choosing only some quotes (a few are taped to the shelf above my desk).  Long story shorter (I can never guarantee short), here’s a few of my faves:

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ~Bradbury

“He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often–he searched for a simile, found one in his work–torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people’s faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” ~ Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“You’ll find out it’s little savors and little things that count more than big ones. A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.”~Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

“Are you happy?” she [Clarisse] said. “Am I what?” he [Montag] cried. But she was gone- running in the moonlight. Her front door shut gently.” ~ Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)

“Everyone must leave something 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. “ ~ Bradbury

“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~Bradbury
 “You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.” ~Bradbury 
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Bradbury

13 thoughts on “Bradbury’s Brainy Bites”

  1. Ray Bradbury’s short stories always held me spellbound as a teenager. I wanted to stop the woman from crossing the ravine, tell the newcomer not to brag about the sun on earth, and the stories went on, absorbing and entertaining. As for his quotes, there was wisdom always to be found. Much of his sci fi rings true today, much to my dismay, and I read it over again, discovering new ideas (or my perceptions of ideas).

    1. Oh, yes, the ravine! My breath still catches in my throat, Dan! You are correct about much of his work. The genre of sci fi is so incredible in that sense. . .the way it shares bits of prophesy. I love Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower for that reason (although it borders on creepy). It is well written!

  2. Oh, you’re going to LOVE Zen and the Art of Writing! Isn’t it wonderful when you find a new book by an author you love? I stumbled across Zen by accident, I think when I was browsing at a Barnes and Noble. I thought I had read almost everything Bradbury had written, but then I came upon this little gem of a book. It’s short and succinct, and he lays out his philosophy of writing. I think the take-away from his book (and everything her writes) is that you have to approach the world with a genuine sense of wonder. If you do that, you can write poetry and work magic.

    I like this ritual of yours, reading Dandelion Wine every summer. What book could be better for that? 🙂 I agree with you about the prose. It’s SO beautiful that it almost makes me ache. There are some types of beauty that, in their way, bruise you because they’re so powerful. For me, Dandelion Wine possess exactly that kind of beauty.

    I could go on and on about Bradbury, so I should stop myself here and look at the rest of your site 🙂 But I want you to know that you made my evening with those quotes.


    1. I’m sure I will! I have read little snippets and know it will be fantastic! There’s a beautiful, relatively new library close by (you know how he feels about libraries;-)) and I will check there to see if they have it. Any book in which he discusses writing must be incredible since he has the gift of “wonder!” He loves life and says that is why he has lived so long. I was happy to learn he did not write his first novel until he was 30 yrs. of age. There’s hope for me lol.

      You should read it too! It’s a nice way to kick off the season! Yes, since I have read it for years and years (since I was a younger girl), the meaning of the text changes nearly every time I re-read it! Isn’t that what iconic texts are supposed to do? In a sense, come alive for us (in whatever situation, time, or place life finds us)? Ohhh, I could go on and on about that text but will stop here. I might read it sooner than later. . .

      I could, too, and then this would be one very long commentary :-). I’m glad you liked them (although I have a gazillion more I adore) and I enjoyed your site very much! Cheers to more writing!


  3. Thank you for these quotes. Bradbury has long been one of my favorite authors and one of my biggest inspirations. I love both Farenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine, as well as almost every short story he ever wrote. I think that anyone who aspires to write anything–essays, short stories, novels, poetry–would benefit from reading Bradbury because he does it all well. He can take a facet of reality or of the human experience and set it to perfect words with perfect rhythm and lyricism. He transcends genres. Few authors have trapped me in their language the way Bradbury has. Have you read his book on writing, Zen and the Art of Writing? One of those quotes you listed may come from that book. I don’t know, but it abounds with similar words of wisdom and encouragement.


    1. Awh, thanks for dropping by! Wow! You neatly summarized how I feel about his works (and him)! Dandelion Wine is such beautiful prose that I read it at the beginning of every summer. I can’t get enough! He does supercede genre and his words capture unexpressed realities for me. I need to read Zen and the Art of Writing. . . will look for it tomorrow. Glad you enjoy him as much as I do!

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