There is a ritual in my home. Every night when dinner is served, my constant companion is opened to the last page read, and placed opposite me at the table.
All noises are off – phones on silent, laptops paused: dinner is my alone time with Terry.
This is the time I immerse myself in the Mutiverse where the Discworld rests on the backs of four elephants standing on the meteor-pockmarked carapace of Great A’Tuin, the astrochelonian.
It is the time when the faint two-dimensional reality I exist in fades away and the deeper, more real Prachettian reality I live for comes into focus.
“At first, there was nothing…which exploded.” Terry’s manifestation in my life was much like these words he wrote describing the beginning of time and the universe. It seems that life and reading were colourless, meaningless and practically unconscious tasks until Terry’s narrative brought depth, vitality, compassion, humour and so many beautiful, beautiful words, and a myriad ways to use them.
Hundreds of characters more authentic than actual living human beings paraded through the series of novels that unwrapped and decanted life into a swirling magical experience.
Terry’s books, like his Death character, have become anthropomorphic personifications; each book and each dog-eared, love-worn page is an old friend, welcoming you back to the only truths you care to know.
We have been robbed of reality and sensibility; Terry’s reality and sensibility. He put up a brave fight but he more than anyone knew, as he so often told us, that more you fight against and hide from Death, the more likely it is you will find him waiting for you.
Death speaks to us through Terry: “There is no reprieve; never any reprieve. There is only me.”
My heart aches tonight at your passing Terry, but tomorrow – Ah! Tomorrow, we have our usual dinner date, when your words will comfort me, soothe me and weave a special magic that will bring you back to life. Just so long as I keep reading, you will live on, forever.
RIP Terry Pratchett 1948 – 2015.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.