Just look at this picture.
Worth a thousand words.
I’ll humbly add a few hundred more.
Sir Terry Pratchett was so important to me, that it’s hard for me to write something comprehensible about him. If he was just “influential”, I could have maybe summed up some of my thoughts about the specific influences he had on me; and if he was just “inspirational”, I could have tried to describe the things he inspired me to do. But he was so important, I don’t only find myself at a loss for words, I also find it hard to type them without getting deeply moved, and, actually, tearing up.
When I was young, I really wanted to be Terry Pratchett. However, as a different amazing writer once said, “it took me some time to realise that the job was in fact taken” – a fantastic insight, and one that guided me for years. Instead of trying to imitate Pratchett, I tried to learn from him, especially that unique skill he seemed to have: explaining a difficult human issue in a light, humorous, empathic way. It seemed that he could make the reader a better person – I’m certainly a much better man thanks to him – and that made me jealous and amazed. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is the skill I’m working on honing more than any other, my highest professional goal in life, and that Pratchett’s books and style are the main cause for it – both for starting me on this way, and for keeping me on it. I’ve read all of his works an average of three times, and it’s not that I “discover new things” *; instead, I would say that I mostly get recharged. There should to be more things like this in the world, I think to myself. These words can make the world a better place. How can I help make that happen?
That’s why I don’t like obituaries claiming that “the world is a less magical place, now that he’s gone.” I think Pratchett would get angry at such a statement, one that places the focus on a single person, and not on his actions; one that looks at the pork futures warehouse and only sees the things that aren’t currently there. Thanks to his works, the world will become more magical. I wish we could have more from him, but we can’t, and that’s a terrible shame, but that’s also an unchangeable fact, and so we should focus and what he gave us, be grateful for it, and make what we can of it.
The Turtle Moves – specifically, it moves us to be better – only now we no longer have the person who was teaching us how to become better. We should give Pratchett the highest respect one can give his teacher, and become teachers ourselves.
* I mostly just discover things I’ve forgotten, and those are not, technically, new.