Ray Bradbury, Doing is Being

Ray Bradbury, 1920 – 2012

Ray Bradbury is kind of a big deal in our family. We are all fans and have read his work from our youngest days. His magic and originality have been the subject of many conversations and each of us have our favorite books and short stories. 

Dandelion Wine is one of my and my brother John’s favorites. My brother Kenneth reads Something Wicked This Way Comes every October and that is also one of my favorites. Fahrenheit 451 left a lingering impression on me and helped fuel my love of books. My dad grew up reading his work and has always been willing to discuss Bradbury’s greatness with us. And my brother Paul and I dream of writing even a fraction as well as the legendary author.

When his death was announced (June 5, 2012), my mom sent out an email to all of us with this poem. It perfectly encapsulates the author’s work and life. And is an inspiration. Thanks, Mr. Bradbury.

Doing is Being
Ray Bradbury
Doing is being.
To have done’s not enough.
To stuff yourself with doing — that’s the game.
To name yourself each hour by what’s done,
To tabulate your time at sunset’s gun
And find yourself in acts
You could not know before the facts
You wooed from secret self, which much needs wooing,
So doing brings it out,
Kills doubt by simply jumping, rushing, running
Forth to be
The new-discovered me.
To not do is to die,
Or lie about and lie about the things
You just might do some day.
Away with that!
Tomorrow empty stays
If no man plays it into being
With his motioned way of seeing.
Let your body lead your mind –
Blood the guide dog to the blind;
So then practice and rehearse
To find heart-soul’s universe,
Knowing that by moving/seeing
Proves for all time: Doing’s being!


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4 thoughts on “Ray Bradbury, Doing is Being

  1. I am a little ashamed to admit that, though I know about his books, I have never actually read one. Silly. The good thing about reading is that those good books don't ever disappear: there is always the chance to read what I haven't read before.

  2. I'm guilty of the same thing with many classics – know them, but haven't actually read them 🙂 Too many books, so little time… But Bradbury is worth the time. Start with Dandelion Wine or Something Wicked This Way Comes. Both are short and wonderful!

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