March 16, 2015
It’s been four days. That’s about right. Any sooner would seem creepy, but to wait longer just wouldn’t feel right.
Four days ago, I joined the rest of the world and said goodbye to Sir Terry Pratchett. I never met Sir Terry, although one of my students did at an Atlanta book signing 20 years ago. She had him sign a book to me, and it’s one of my most cherished possessions.
This isn’t my homage to the man. I never knew the man, (I did like his hat) only his work, and specifically his Discworld novels. I bought The Colour of Magic in 1987, read it in one sitting, and was hooked. I purchased almost all of them, and when we moved to Connecticut ten years ago, I left most of my books in storage, but I brought my Discworld collection, and I’ve added to it. As an educator, I gave Sir Terry Pratchett the greatest honor I could: I never tried to teach one of his works. They weren’t made to be taught. Lord of the Flies is made to be taught. Poor Piggy. The Discworld novels served a higher, more personal purpose, to illuminate our world with high humor, and when you least expected it, rake with some unexpected wisdom or altogether unlooked for insight. Granny Weatherwax slashed across my soul like lightning. These books left marks, like scars from some painful but humorous tale involving pirates and 5-year-olds.
So today, I begin my Year with Sir Terry. I was going to start a website, but I couldn’t afford it. Does anybody blog anymore? Writing a blog is starting to sound like learning how to shoe horses. None of that. I’m starting over, reading his works again in more or less the same order that I went through them the first time. A year with Sir Terry. That’s a year well spent, and at the end, his last work will be waiting for me: The Shepherd’s Crown, final setting for Ms. Tiffany Aching. I’ll miss her.
I miss him already.