It’s March 12, which means it’s been 3 years since Sir Terry Pratchett died. I don’t know if I’m enough of a writer to give him a proper tribute, but after the impact he had on my life he deserves the attempt.
Pratchett’s writing was rooted in two things, the same two things that permeate me to my core. The first is anger. Anger at a world that is filled with hate, with greed, with stupidity and stubbornness. Anger that good people die before their time, and anger that those left behind have to deal with the pain.
The second core of Pratchett’s writing is the source of the anger. Love. Love for the good in humanity, and the beauty in the world. Love for an old copper who has had the world thrown at him but refuses to bend. Love for a witch who knows exactly who she is and what she is meant to be doing. Love for a conman with a heart of gold (although the paina rubs off after a week).
He wrote his books and spoke to the anger and love inside of me. Anger at a world I didn’t understand. Anger at the loss of a mother, and the loss of a father’s love. Anger at a world that I couldn’t change. And the love that went with it. Love for aunts and uncles who told stories every Christmas because my mom is not dead while her name is still spoken. Love for a brother who needed someone to confide in. Love for a babysitter, a teacher, and a man with a room to spare, people who saw a child in need of a parent and decided that if the world was gonna deny me that then they’d just be better than the world.
Pratchett wrote and he taught me that love was the source of my anger. And he taught me that the anger wasn’t wrong, but I could do something with it. He taught me to turn the anger back into love. To share joy and jokes while still supporting the anger in others. To be for others what he had been for me.
In Hat Full of Sky Pratchett wrote that “It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.” His writing, and it’s effect on the life of myself and countless others like me, is nothing short of magic. With nothing but a keyboard and a heart full of anger and long he made the world a better place.