Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dinosaur Tales

I spent a couple of months after  Ray's death buying up whatever books I didn't own of his (it was a job I had often thought of doing but always put off because it would be such a huge undertaking!).  After he died it became urgent for me to get them all before they would disappear too.  Of course, I was never disillusioned into thinking he would live forever... I knew he was very old, and it was such a gift to me whenever I discovered a new collection of his stories in the library, but that doesn't make it easier when they do go.  This is a personal hurt for me, because through his books I felt that I knew him, and there was such a deep sense of loss when he died.  
I haven't, except for The Halloween Tree and The October Country,  read any of his work for quite some time, so this little book, with its illustrations and poetry was a new experience.   I learned something new about Ray which was that he was friends with Ray Harryhausen, and that he was a lover of dinosaurs (which, of course, makes perfect sense knowing what I do know about Ray).  So this collection was a nice way to begin a year long challenge of reading those books of his  that I bought this year.  At the end I have to say that it was tough.  Usually at the end of a story or a collection of his stories I have this feeling that I have been touched by greatness, I can't believe where he has taken me and every experience is different.  This time it was bittersweet for me.  While he has physically left us he will never really leave, because his stories will live forever.  I can keep him alive as long as I am living simply by just reading something of his.  He isn't really gone, he didn't disappear, he's still here with me, every time I open one of his books.

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