I’ve made no secret of my deep and abiding love for all things Bradbury. The man could paint with words like Michelangelo. He was amazing. Today, I’m going to share one of my favorite passages, from “The Martian Chronicles:
There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.
Can’t you feel it? Smell it? Hear it dropping down on hollow box lids? I recently visited Stonehenge for the very first time, and I paid extra (a lot extra) to do the private tour, and be allowed to walk and stand among the stones. This passage kept playing over and over in my mind as I wandered between them, the sheer timelessness of the place.
That’s the kind of power words can have, to transport and transform, to paint and to play across your mind.