Yes, yes, I know it is supposed to be Ray Bradbury, not berry. But now that the master has gone, I don’t want to think of him as bury which is too grave a term. He was a master of metaphor and rhythm and image in writing. His work is much more berry-flavored, and if you really intensively read a novel like Dandelion Wine, you can very easily get drunk on the richly fermented contents of his beautiful writing.
I’d like to offer you a piece of my mind,
Though not a lecture, rant, or complaint,
But rather a piece of mental pie.
Its taste will be very sweet, you will find,
As I’m constantly thinking in ink and paint,
That gives you wings and allows you to fly.
You see, I think the literary mind does not have to sink to mundane and dark and dreary thoughts and ideas to accomplish lofty goals. Often it is the special dollop of sugary metaphorical conceit that makes a Ray Bradbury or Mark Twain or Kurt Vonnegut to soar through the astral plane of ideas. I know that’s cartoony thinking, and somewhat loony besides, but I am often frustrated when it seems that the only “realism” modern readers and audiences accept is what is gritty and bloody and depressingly painful. Oh, I get it. Douglas nearly dies in the course of Dandelion Wine. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and Billy Pilgrim all suffer as much as we laugh in order to make their points in the novels they inhabit. But the misfortune makes the moment of taking flight that much sweeter. And it is in the language. The loving description of everyday things and everyday events that become extraordinary through extra-close examination. Sometimes silliness and humor and logical reason are not enough, and we have to speak in poetry. We put in metaphors as peaches and plums. Sensory details are raspberries and strawberries. Sing-song rhythms and elegant pacing makes the batter whole and delicious. And I know this whole post makes no earthly sense. But sometimes you write for earthly reasons… and sometimes you try to reach heaven. That is what Ray Bradberry Pie is made of.