Today is May 25th, the day Terry Pratchett fans wear the lilac as a reference to his beloved Discworld series (and also, more recently, in honor of the author and other Alzheimer’s patients). It is also, quite wonderfully coincidentally, Towel Day for Douglass Adams fans (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series) and, as Jack reminded me, World Tarot Day. Let me take a moment to remind you, in case you forgot: DON’T PANIC.
But for me, this day is particularly special.
I’ve loved many artists who have passed on, no longer able to create and let their brilliance shine around the world as it did when they were alive. Thankfully, we have echoes of it still remaining in the work and families they left behind and the countless people they inspired and still continue to inspire.
I don’t have any real way to honor my favorite artists who have passed on into the otherworld, and it seems fruitless to try to keep track of all of their birthdays or the anniversaries of their deaths to keep them in my memories. In reality, I remember them all the time, but I do want to designate a moment of time to think about them and how they have influenced me.
And there are so many who influenced me: Brian Jacques, who I thought of as a great-uncle figure writing stories for child-Cinnia and the rest of his fans and taught me so much about descriptive writing. Terry Pratchett, who taught me the fine arts of humorous and satirical writing. Diana Wynne Jones, who inspired me to create modern fairytales. Isaac Asimov, who proved that science and futuristic themes could be integrated effectively into fiction. J. R. R. Tolkien, who was imaginative enough to invent a whole new genre in order to tell a war story built on the backbone of linguistics.
I choose May 25th as the day to remember them and their works, the lives they touched, the way they made people smile and yearn for something greater than themselves. I remember them as a fan and an artist and as someone who knows all too well the blessing it is to have something you love so much that it’s hard to say goodbye.
Today, I wear the lilac and remember how their works have inspired me as well as so many others.
I’ll never forget it.
Photo Credit: “Lilac Closeup” by Bea Minus