In fifth grade, I read Ray Bradbury’s famous short story All Summer in a Day, and it was like a punch in the gut. It’s one of the first times I remember having a distinct physical reaction to something I had read, a kind of churning inside. It’s as if my mind wasn’t quite ready or able to process the emotion and so pushed it out into my body where it rumbled around and finally settled in the pit of my stomach.
For some reason, I kind of loved that feeling.
There are some works of art so profoundly sad or joyous or beautiful or all of the above that they cannot be held in the prison of our comprehension and instead break out and course through us, striking our atoms like a tuning fork and connecting us to something deeper, something both primal and enlightening.
For me, a few such watershed works come instantly to mind, like Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby and Chopin’s Nocturne in C Sharp Minor and Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
But it all started when those kids forgot to let poor Margot out of the closet to bask in the sun.
Rest in peace Mr. Bradbury.