Ray Bradbury’s speech lights a fire in my heart like no one else. It burns so intensely, I feel I have time-traveled to the ’60s and I must dash to my typewriter to conjure up ghosts and fling myself into the belly of the whale. My empathy superpowers have me shape-shifting into an adorable white-haired man with thick, black-framed glasses and an insatiable appetite for magic and fun. I’m suddenly disagreeable in the most honorable way, never once questioning what I know to be true: What lights me up, what gives me intense meaning and burns the flames of my desires. I want to start each morning like this. A Ray Bradbury’s Daily Bread seems the only appropriate way for this perfect religion to begin.
I’m suddenly done with today’s incessant questioning. I feel a responsibility so great it can no longer be ignored: To 🎵 cast off the shackles of yesterday 🎵, tossing the questions into the abyss and marching forth, full of conviction. I have learned those lessons. I have gained that wisdom. There will always be more to learn, but that can only take place when I close one chapter and move on to the next. My empathy allows me to become my hero and my enemy. I have to be so careful, ever-present to myself during discussions that debate what I know and love to be true.
How does Ray pierce my soul and how can I finally accept his torch? I must build giant castles with dragon-filled moats around all that is holy to me. I must never let in the evil shapeshifter, but invite them to the castle gates and no further. I must protect what’s inside and allow it to thrive. I must simply step out to provide an impassioned report on behalf of the Kingdom and be confident in its inner-workings. I must never suppress its creations, ideas, or confidence.
I am responsible as a Queen, as a King. I am, in fact, the great shape-shifting hero that must defend and grow the Kingdom of my humanity and creation — to look to the future with the clearest visions and communicate them just as clearly through my art and speech… such that everyone who comes upon me is now on fire, with hope — No! Excitement! — and love, deep and intense, and fierce… now forced by their own bodies and minds to move forward and grow and create and succeed in whatever it is that they know and love to be true and holy.
Not that fake kind of truth that provides an instant and supposed “gratification,” when one can say, “Aha! I’m right, and you’re wrong!” No! This is not the truth. This is cowardly confusion and evil arrogance. I mean really true. So true that our bodies light up with love and say, “Yes!!” A deep gratification that so few have experienced. An intense joy. A true love––one that drives an unquenched appetite for the experience of life.