Autographs, and the Complete Jonathan

TODAY IS THE PUB DATE of the New Edition of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  It’s the complete edition, now, since it includes a Part 4, that I had written immediately after Part 3,  years ago, but never published with the first parts.  It didn’t get published since I thought it was just not proper at the time, it was something in the future of the flock (and in the world of humans), that would never happen.

I thought I had thrown Part 4 away.  But a while ago, Sabryna was going through old files and she found a fading old typewritten Part 4.  She visited me, asked if I knew what she had found.

I said no.  Then I couldn’t stand her silence, “What did you find?”

And there in her hand was the old writing, and I remembered it.  Times had changed, and now Part 4 was germane to the story, and the publisher agreed.  So now it’s on sale.

I remembered what had happened after Jonathan was published.  I flew around the country, talking about the book for those who cared, signing copies.  Looking back now, I’m sure that I must have autographed at least….a dozen copies of the book for readers.  Could have been more.

And now, for one of the first times, I sent autographed copies to readers and two of them never found their owners!  One was international, but I’ve sent international copies for all these years and they managed to get where they wanted to go.

Yesterweek, the publisher had sent me 20 copies of the new edition, and they were lost!   I’ve now stopped signing books, for all the expense of money and time sending books and they never arrive, it’s not worth the owner’s time, or even mine.

I remembered, though, what I thought about autographed copies.  I remembered the first time I saw Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s signature on a thousand-dollar copy of The Little Prince.  One can learn much about a person from their signature, and I saw his small careful signature, almost hand-printed letters, on the page — a person who cared about details!

I never would have guessed that Saint-Exupery cared about details, I thought he might have been a pilot who subscribes to the old-time ways: “Kick-the-tires, Light-the-fires and First-one-off-is-the-Leader.“  Not only do I know some pilots like that, I’m sort of like that, myself.  But not Saint-Ex.  So though I couldn’t afford to buy that signature (now one’s for sale at $140,000), I never forgot it.

Today, I thought that there may have been someone like me who puzzles over autographs.  What was I going to do, now that I’ve stopped sending books?  It took me a while, but you knew the answer before I did.  Could I print an autograph on the website?

My signature has been printed in several books, so it was there anyway, it wasn’t any secret, but the art that I shared with most autographs, that was not printed.  Why not an autograph (which with a few hours of studying handwriting practice, will tell you everything about me) on the web?

Saint-Ex and I loved flying, all right, but our signatures are as far apart as two asteroids.  His is careful, thoughtful, yearning to describe who that magnificent pilot could be.   Mine is…different.

So you have here two autographs.

IMG_1461And,

IMG_1464

One is for fliers and the other is for…fliers, too.  Of course you will understand what every line means.  Why are there always seven rays from the sun, I wonder?

 

 

78 thoughts on “Autographs, and the Complete Jonathan

  1. Oh man. These are great! What a treasure.

    I had a similar experience to yours with ST. EX in 1994. It was in the library of a small native American community library, in WA state on the title page of JLS. That was so welcome.

    • Fascinating, Liz, that you would call the drawings a treasure. Saint-Exupery must have felt the same way: “These are strokes of my pen, they’re not art. These are the best I can do to catch a spirit on paper, in ink.” I never thought of how he felt, of how we all feel about a drawing. Thank you!

  2. Yep! There is no coincidence that I finished your book today for the second time in a 20 years and I decided to look you up and you released a new version of a book today!
    I was given a copy of “Illusions” in 1992 to read and I loved it. However, I had forgotten completely about the book and something stirred my memory recently so I had to do a feverish search to remember the name and then find the book. Again, I remember why I loved it so much. Now I am definitely going to get the new JLS as I haven’t even experienced it yet at all! Thanks for sharing your thoughts “on paper” as there are many who have the same thoughts and feelings.
    Nicole
    Indianapolis, IN

          • Coincidence, synchronicity, serendipity are all related to Oneness or happening at the same time or place, or just so happening. All, perhaps, manifestations of our oneness of Consciousness, of which, we tend not to be aware.

            Concerning the seven rays from the sun, lots of ideas on that from Wikipedia and more ancient sources.
            Newton originally (1672) divided the spectrum into five main colours; red, yellow, green, blue and violet. Later he included orange and indigo, giving seven main colours by analogy to the number of notes in a musical scale.[2][8] Newton chose to arbitrarily divide the visible spectrum into seven colours out of a belief, derived from the beliefs of the ancient Greek sophists, who thought there was a connection between the colours, the musical notes, the known objects in the Solar System, and the days of the week.[9][10][11]

      • Seth said there are no coincidences. On a whim I thought to look for your new installation of Jonathan and lo and behold it just came out. And again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for writing your books. They made quite an impression on me way back when, and now I look forward to this new edition. Namaste.

      • I’ve heard it called “Destiny” or “Fate”, though I believe in neither prison.
        Maybe then we could call “no coincidence” Free Will, directed. Or, Purposefullness.
        ; )

  3. As i read this i was thinking, wait, i already read part 4 but pub date is today how is that possible? Ah, but yes, you meant physical version of book (i have the e version). Thank you for letting us know as i like to have your books bound and on my night table and around my house i will be ordering my copy. I imagine too that with the physical version of book out there may be some new activity happening on JLS site.

    When i see your autograph with pictures i hear a whizzing sound.

    • I already read it too, Friday – in paperback! Who knows, maybe Amazon knew how anxious I was to read it?

      I agree that these are treasures! The next best thing to having an autographed copy of “Jonathan”! Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

  4. Wow. they’re like mini-windows into your thought)
    yes, things do get lost sometimes over postage… but I’d still love to be able to get a book with your autograph. I wonder if full JLS will ever get printed in Russia or whether the book in English will be available here and I doubt it with the current economic situation. I think I’ll have to order one from Amazon.

  5. Hi Richard

    just a story relating to your signature…

    I’ve been a fan of yours for years (as I’m sure we all are). I wanted you to autograph one of my books for years. I brought JLS to Oshkosh a few times, hoping that I would run into you so that I could ask you for it at that time. It never happened…

    A few years ago I saw a copy of JLS on ebay, it was signed by you. I put in a bid thinking that I wouldn’t get it. Guess what?… I won the bid. At the time, I was going out with someone and I thought that she needed this book, from me, more that I needed it.

    Maybe that copy of JLS was one of my “blue feathers”… which then turned into her “blue feather”.

    Thanks for stirring up some memories…

    Jerry

  6. thank you Richard! i finished reading the new complete Jonathan yesterday.
    i am going to print these out and put them in my copy. i love your writing, you are so wonderfully indescribably unique. i was trying to explain to my husband yesterday why i love your writing so much. i don’t think i did so well. he was kind and said he was happy for me. no matter. i love especially Budgeron and Danielle!

  7. Your signatures. Some thoughts. This is a signature you could spend half your life trying to figure out and Clearly the work of someone you would want to know. The thing I see that is consistent in both ( aside from the actual signature) is the sun and the little bird off in the distance. Represents independence?

    • That little bird isn’t me! I had forgotten there’s so much symbolism in the drawings. I’m in the flock behind the sailing/fishing boat, or I’m the right wingman of the two little biplanes. How startling, your question. Every line we draw has a meaning!

  8. I ordered the new edition of Jonathan on-line last night, I did not know it wasn’t officially out yet, also, Illusions II. They will be a Christmas gift from my husband to me, sometimes you have to help things along. I always think that the wonderful thing about autographs is that it is proof that the signer held what you are holding. When I was lucky enough, many years ago, to hold in my hands, no gloves, no plastic covering, down in the deeps of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, three pastels by Rosetti, I couldn’t believe it was happening. That’s the magic of autographs for me, to touch what they touched. I hadn’t thought about studying the writing particularly, other than sometimes to ask “WHAT DOES THAT SAY?” I love your drawings Richard.

  9. Interesting. I ‘m looking at the artwork you autographed in a hardcover addition of Biplane for a “Jared ” in 66 that looks remarkably similar to one of your autographs above. Seven rays and all… I often wonder who this Jared was and how far a journey has it been for this little book that I’m sure he once cherished ,to end up in MY library?I find that interesting is all…I think you should reconsider and autograph at least a few more books. 🙂 and if Jared is still out there somewhere, missing a lost treasure, give me a shout!…

  10. Congrats on publishing part 4 of JLS! I remember a dear friend who gave me The Bridge Across Forever. For months, I tried to read that book. I would start, then stop – I just couldn’t get into it. Then one night, when I couldn’t sleep, it called to me from the bookcase. It clicked! All night long, I was highlighting and rewriting portions of it that just spoke volumes to me. Occasionally, I run across those scribblings when going through my box of old memories. How lucky are we to have you in this lifetime. Thank you for keeping us updated on your life through this blog. Happy flying!

  11. One of my most treasured items in my book collection is Kurt Vonnegut’s autograph. Complete with an asterisk —> * <— , which has a 'special' meaning for Mr. Vonnegut. I've always wanted an autographed copy of 'Illusions' but every time I get a copy I end up giving it away to someone who needs it. Happy Flying Mr. Bach!!

  12. This post reminded me that for many years I would sign my nickname – Sukie – with a special flower. It had a smiling face and seven petals (yes, seven) ….. I drew another one today just to remind myself, and it still comes out the same way… Thanks for the reminder!
    Your signature (minus the embellishments of suns and planes and waves) looks the same as it is on the postcard you sent me years ago, which has two little balloons on it (red and yellow)….. 🙂
    All the best with the new version of Jonathan …. I will be asking for that in my Christmas stocking! Joy….

  13. Oh Richard, we are all so incredibly lucky to be enjoying this “earth ride” with you at the same time!

    I am so happy for those “dozen or so” lucky guys who managed to get your profoundly meaningful signature since the first publication of JLS.

    Congratulations for releasing the printed version of the JLS’s new edition. I have already had the pleasure of reading it as an ebook, but I seriously look forward to order many of these books as they make such a special gift for my close acquaintances.

    Are there chances for a Spanish Edition to materialise?

  14. Hi Richard!

    I am so looking forward to getting the complete Jonathan! You and I met at a book-signing at Bolens Books in Victoria, BC, in 1999. There, I related to you how JLS had helped inspire my two-year journey around the word on motorscooter Melawend to promote friendship and communication (had never ridden a motorbike before, nor been outside North America). You gave me a most wonderful inscription on my original copy of JLS. My son was with me, and you obliged him in kind on his new copy… my son’s name is Jonathan.
    So glad you survived and recovered from that crash and took to the air again! Cheers to your continuing odyssey through life, Richard – and thank you for all the wisdom you continue to share
    Thomas (Tom) Martin Smith Author of IN THE LONG RUN: A Hopeful World Odyssey

  15. Even your signature goes up. Always up, like your birds and your pilots.

    The seven rays of your sun mirror the seven energetic centres of human beings, the seven energetic levels of the Universe (poetically represented in your sun). Here is what I found about number 7 and personality in a random page on the Internet (www.numerology.com):

    “The number 7 is the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth (notice the capital “T”). The 7 doesn’t take anything at face value — it is always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. The 7 knows that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.”

    Well, if you are not a 7, you should definitely be one :)!

    Both autographs are lovely, you have a huge, beautiful inner child. In neither of them is your flier alone. Your bird is flying after his friend, your pilots are finally flying together. I need some more time for your signature, though.

    I agree with Sally. The magical thing about signed books is that you hold in your hands something the author held too. Energy remains. You take away the Illusion of Time and Space and you are touching each other’s hand. Can you feel it? Truly amazing.

    • Thank you, Amelie, for your info and thoughts, especially your last paragraph above. And thanks also, Sally, for your Rosetti story. Yes, this is exactly what happens! My own story:

      A DIFFERENT KIND OF AUTOGRAPH:
      It was 1964, and I was in Italy with a large group of college students from around the U.S., partaking of the incredible sights, sounds and flavors of Florence. We were in a museum, and I wandered into a relatively small room that had some statues high up on pedestals. The guard was at the door, reminding everyone to stand away from the statues, no touching, no photographs (sometimes flash-bulbs exploded in those days), and to generally behave ourselves in the presence of these treasures. Not hard for me, who was generally a Follower-of-Rules. Interestingly, there were no barricades to keep us away from each statue. I was standing near a statue of a single male figure sculpted by Michelangelo. THE Michelangelo. I think it was something about Bacchus, grapes and wine, but I don’t remember for sure.

      All of a sudden I noticed that the guard had turned and left the room. I immediately reached out toward the statue and ran my hand from the back of the knee, downward along the calf, to the ankle. I almost felt electricity! It was alive! Suddenly what had appeared to my eyes to be a solid, static stone leg became alive with energy, warmth, individual muscles and tendons, all clearly delineated by my touch. I was thrilled, and filled with awe and a profound understanding at that moment, of what a grand master of sculpture Michelangelo truly was. I could feel parts of the muscle that I very literally could not detect with my eyes. There was a connection there unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Long, long ago the sculptor left his autograph for me to read with my hand. I shall always hold it close in memory.

      Now, decades later, I look at this experience, and realize that the opportunistic gift of his “autograph” was waiting there, and I could decipher it and feel the connection only because I chose to break the rules. Hmmm – there certainly must be a lesson in that!
      *****
      I thank you Richard, for your wonderful autographs that you are sharing with us right now. I will treasure them, right alongside my Michelangelo memory. Peace to you and Lockie, of the amazing eyes.

      • I agree you were right to touch it Sally B (I’m a Sally B too actually, not strange at all in our world). When I read ‘Naked Came I’, a biography of Auguste Rodin, he was insistent that sculpture should be touched not looked at, it is all about how things feel and you are supposed to run your hands over it and feel the shapes and textures. This ‘look don’t touch’ isn’t what it is meant to be, especially for bronzes, what harm can touching do, provided you don’t knock it over and dent it.

        Apparently the Burghers of Calais were supposed to be on the ground to be experienced as members of the public, but, in London at any rate, they are raised up. I haven’t been up town to see them for a long time, but I loved stroking their feet, so much detail.

        • Thank you, Sally, for the confirmation about my touching the statue! I enjoyed reading your response. I’ve just now gotten around to looking up M’s Bacchus statue. I was not correct in my memory that it is a single male figure. There is also a faun there, and so now I have also learned what a faun is! In the picture, I can clearly see and remember Bacchus’ right leg, that I had the impertinence and lovely enjoyment of feeling (feeling up, some might say).

  16. Ah, nice writing. 7 also represents the psychic, or spiritual. Can’t wait to read the new parts. When I taught meditation, I use to hand out copies of Illusions. Thank you for all your writing. Much appreciated.

  17. Dear Mr. Bach: You have been an inspiration to me since a friend gave a copy of JLS to me decades ago. Because of your description of JLS, I never feared testing my own wings and flying differently than most of those around me. A few years back I was in an old record shop, and found a nearly pristine L.P. album of JLS. Whenever I have a sad day, I play that album… and then everything becomes alright, again. Thank you for life’s many treasures. -Barbie

  18. Hello at long last, Richard,
    My heart tells me that I am more than just another of your tens of thousands of devoted readers. Like so many, your writings, your insight, your wisdom has guided my path, often giving light when there was no other. Following the accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down, I learned to fly and found far more than the awesome freedom and farther, clearer vision that awaits us all when we begin to fly higher,… I found myself. I was asked a while ago what it felt like on my first solo. The answer came to me before I even thought about it. I simply said, “it was like coming home.” For the past 19 years my wife and I along with about 30 other loving, dedicated pilots have being sharing our passion for flight and our love with special needs children through a program we call Dreams and Wings. The transformation that takes place when we fly with a special needs child in nothing less than a metamorphosis. The beautiful butterflies that exit our aircraft give renewed beauty, life and hope to everything and everyone around them. Richard, your gifts, the treasures I hold so dearly guide my every thought and action. I once overheard a friend telling another that “if you want to know and understand Jack, read Richard Bach.” Until I heard that I did not realize how evident your gifts where in my daily life. Many years ago you signed my treasured first additions JLS and Out of My Mind. The few moments we shared in Oshkosh were bittersweet as I was at once awestruck and enthralled by your gentle presence and too tongue tied to really say how much you and your writings have meant to my life. I have given no less that two dozen copies of JLS to our Dreams and Wings children and feel confident that their lives have been blessed as have so many whom Jonathan has touched. Thank you for having the courage to share your self with a grateful world.

    • I guess we share the gifts we have, don’t we? You and me and so many who care for the magics with which we’ve been bestowed.

  19. I will keep these autographs… but I don’t need to. I already have one… on that royalty check I sent you out of guilt for buying most of your books used. You and Leslie endorsed it, and then returned it to me with a nice note. I know I’ve recounted this story before… but it seemed appropriate here, and it had a profound effect on me. So I can’t help sharing that story every chance I get. Besides… I’m old enough to get away with repeating myself. Gotta take advantage of the few benefits of old age. Thanks again.

  20. Beautiful the first autograph, always remain in my mind and heart.
    The second I interpret the adventures that I still have yet to live in this life.
    Very similar to the Zen paintings drawings: all objects are tiny,
    surrounded by a vast space, the consciousness of Love …

  21. A hard copy at last. Yay! Ordered it yesterday. I got the e-version when it was released, but nothing compares with turning pages.

    I love the drawings in your signatures. In an age where photo-realism is everywhere, drawings can often be so much more expressive because they allow you to focus in on only that which is necessary.

    A fun exercise I remember from my student days was where we had to draw faces of famous people using the least possible amount of information and line on the page. Amazing how little is required when you put your mind to it. Your drawings remind me of that. Just a few lines and instantly I’m transported into the scene, my mind fleshing out the details as I go. There is something wonderfully child-like about it.

    Witness children playing with simple things; boxes, broom handles. ….all of a sudden they’re in a rocket to the farthest corners of the galaxy. All that was required was the right frame and they decorate it with the lush and intricate fabrics of their imagination. Your drawings provide just such a frame.

    Thank you!

  22. Dear Richard,
    I just found your website today while looking for your biography that my son Petar needed for school (he is in elementary school, 8th grade). You were my favorite writer when I was a teenage girl and you still are, and now I am happy that this web site enabled us to communicate!
    I enjoy seeing my son reading your JLS book and it feels like love for flying and heights continues. I think your word is important especially today when consumerism is so spread. Congratulations on new edition!
    Warm regards from Mariana and Petar from Croatia!

    • What a delight, that we can touch fingertips, all around the world. Best wishes from all of us, wherever we may be, to Mariana and Petar!

    • Very wise words, I think! And isn’t it strange how some of the most profound things can only be found in simplicity?

        • “if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old then you probably don’t understand it yourself.”…..I’ve never come across that quote before. It’s brilliant!

          The ability to strip an idea down to its most basic level and yet still remain true to the concept and ideal. That’s a rare skill to be treasured.

          • The practice of Haiku, Japanese poetry, is to practice “cutting” through to the “essence”. Not n easy task but an awesome approach to removing the layers of delusion.

  23. I finished the “complete Johnathan” on Kindle right after you released it. Chapter Four does tidy things up. Fourty years ago It wouldn’t have had the same continuity. After 40 years of flying and life it does. A little over a year ago I flew into my “Cliff”, but I didn’t pass through, instead I bounced off. I am flying again and am enjoying life’s adventures. Things like rubbing the soft fur of a Kittens belly, The smell of a new baby, the brilliants of spring flowers takes on wonderful proportions when we realize how fragile our existence is. It does make one want to savor these things, as we all will be on another side (somewhere) soon.

  24. Many years ago I lived in Donetsk, I think, everybody knows this town now. One of my friends gave me Russian translation of “Seagull..” I read whole book one night, I am sure, this book changed my life. Since that time I had a dream that one day I learn English and read the original. This book saved my life many times. I lost family, house, country. I had two immigration, that book still with me. I am in Canada now for 15 years, I learned English. My writing Russian still much better compare with my English, but I can read pretty well. I think, now it a time to make my dream real. Thank you for new edition of book! Thank you for all of your book! Thank you for your life!

  25. The sun has 7 rays for the 7 universal forces, the 7 types of intention. Creativity, Kindness, Love, Beauty, Expansion, Abundance, Receptivity. The sun gives these 7 things every day for us in our lives without exception. Do I make the choice to notice? Do I make the choice to use them in my thoughts and actions? Do I allow them to shape my reality, my imagination?

  26. Illusions is the only book on my annual (and sometimes semi-annual or more often) reading list. Even after reading JLS, there were so many answers and questions for me in Illusions.

    6 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. It came totally “out of the blue” (yeah sure – we know the real truth) and without the assistance of smoking. I can remember going to work immediately after my diagnosis. There were about 45 minutes before I had to stop thinking about me and focus on the people I was serving. The thought that kept running through my mind during the day was from Illusions. It was from page 71 in the paperback volume (c) 1977 the one that ends with the line… “You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

    At home that night I reread Illusions and began to think of my cancer (experience) as a gift. Within 24 hours of my diagnosis I went from “OH MY GOD, WHAT WILL I DO? Will I die?” to this is a GIFT, what will I do with it. Why have I drawn it to my Life?

    During the next few months of treatments, although physical tiredness was a constant companion, the diagnosis and treatments along with the amazing and wonderful people in my Life proved they were part of the gift. My cancer experience continues to contribute to my Life and the work I do. So much of that perspective, those insights and beliefs are a result of what you wrote and what I learned, and continue to learn, in my ACE – After Cancer Experience. Whne I refer to my cancer experience as a gift, I still get some very strange looks and that’s totally acceptable for me.

    Illusions is my regular read and will be until, the next adventure begins for me. Dozens of copies of JLS, Illusions, ONE, A Bridge Across Forever have passed through my hands on the way to members of our family.

    Thank you so very much for what you have shared through your writing and your presence in this Space-Time Continuum.

    Glad to learn about the full version of JLS and the Illusions, Part 2. The local bookstore will appreciate my order tomorrow.

    Thank you so very much Richard, I love and appreciate your Presence and your Gifts.

    Sid Falthzik

      • Just found a yellow feather on a walk today. Where I live, on the ocean in New England, I don’t think I have ever seen a bird with yellow feathers in the wild. Most of the bird I see are seagulls with white and/or gray feathers.

        To me, it’s just a reminder, of the place Illusions (figuratively and literally) play in my life!

        Write on, Richard!
        Sid

  27. Every day I ride the ferry and watch the seagulls who ride the updrafts. I was out on the observation deck one day a couple of weeks ago and there was a man out there looking up at the seagulls too. I said to him. “I always watch them”. And he said to me ” They remind me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” Instantly, my heart rejoiced. A kindred spirit! A fellow traveler! We watched the birds, we talked about Illusions, he mentioned the plane crash, I told him “He’s fine! He’s flying!”, we smiled. It was a serendipitous moment in this reality.

    I still dream of a whole room full of kindred spirits. How amazing that would be.

    Thank you for the autographs, Richard. I choose the seagulls and the sailboat and the water. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Sharon, for this story! I’d love to have the room of spirits, too. This little website is one way to gather us spirits. Is there another?

      • Every time i see this question mark after such a statement i get curious of whether there is an answer to this that satiates the soul… 🙂

      • Well, Richard, we could all meet via energy at a chosen time on a particular day. I feel that the bond of love we all share would be strong enough for all of us to feel, to benefit if we had a purposeful intention, all of us, together at the same time.

        OR, dare I say, that we could organize an actual physical meeting where we could meet, chat, stargaze, and appreciate each other. That once was a plan, but then things went awry. Do you think they went awry on purpose? Was it not a good idea to gather in the physical world? Were we not ready? I’ve thought about it often.

        • Well put Sharon. Maybe something physical is just too ordinary/superficial for our likings. Although, i too have gathered many theories about the so called meeting that was to be—-evidently, it was not the right time nor space. I would think it would have to be sort of a spontaneous gathering with not much pressure nor force. Letting the ultimate energies work to gather us unbeknownst to us.

          • A physical meeting of people that have communicated through the art of expression of writing then meeting in the art of expression of body language and spoken word, for me, reminds me of having to translate a word from one language into another language where that word is non-existant and then having to force a basic translation of that word within the confines of vocabulary of that language…lol…does that create an image? Does anyone follow? Anyway, in short i think i want to say, it would probably be really quiet at a meeting….which is okay. 🙂

        • There already is a wordless connection. I wonder how many times each of us see something whether it’s a feather, a plane, or some other thing that reminds us to visit and look at this site. I do.

          I just read part 4 JLS. It was timely and harmonious with something that has been with me for years that points to the next chapter in consciousness.

  28. Thank you Richard, for the timely reminder that what seems like the end may merely be the end of a chapter. What seems finished and over may still go on (even if sometimes we have to wait a long time with few signs of hope).

    I agree with Sally and Amelie about touching (or even just being close to) something that the author/creator has touched. As an artist I experienced overwhelming emotions recently visiting Munnings’ house. They took me quite by surprise! To see his studio and be close to his brushes felt special in a way that’s hard for me to even describe. To know that his dying wish was that artist should travel to his house to see his work in the flesh and to be inspired pleases me greatly. It is a joy for me to know that he wanted me to visit.

    I will be ordering the hard copy of the new edition of JLS for my mum who introduced me to the original. (She asked for the new version after I told her my surprise in stumbling across it in the digital edition). Thank you once again for sharing your love, thoughts and caring.

  29. Wow!! I read Illusions for the first time when I was 13. That was 1984. I’ve read it and JLS at least twice a year ever since. I still get emotional every time I read them. I’ve given away litterly hundreds of copies over the years and even got into the book business because of how much those thin little paperbacks changed my perspective of life. I don’t write well, but I can bring the joy of reading to others. For years, you’ve been on my short list of people I’d love to meet, given that your work influenced my life so greatly. I wish I had known of your book tour. I would have traveled just about anywhere for an opportunity to say thank you in person. In any case, thank you for so many wonderful stories and bright blessings for clear skies….

  30. Is this a place to include comments on “The Messiah’s Handbook”?

    As a compilation of your wisdom in print, It’s totally delightful!

  31. Pingback: An author is an amateur who never quits. — Richard Bach |

  32. Richard:
    Yesterday I bought the New Edition of Juan Gaviota in Spanish,
    emotionally and intuitively I felt that touched the highest part of
    my Spirit and my dreams have been more lucid and creative,
    thanks for all the support you have given me in this lifetime.

  33. Wow, sometimes I feel that the walls of reality turn quite clear.

    Seven! Of course, my mind says, you are right smack in the middle of reading Oversoul Seven! Seven rays of sunshine! The wonder of it all makes me tremble with excitement.

    The delightful innocent of Seven and Jonathan—-I wonder if they are friends in some mysterious place where spirits meet and play?

    The autographs remind me also of the watercolors of Frank Clarke: he likes to include a lovely bird in the sky, and names him Charlie the Bird. I wonder now, does Charlie dream of the daredevil creature? It does seem he wants to fly off the paper!

    Ye gods, I can’t wait for the library to open—I wish tomorrow was here already. I guess I will just have to enjoy the Now.

    Be well as always

    —-M.R.S.

  34. How is it I just found out that Jonathan Livingston Seagull has been reprinted with part 4? Reading JLS the first time when I was 15 (1978), followed by Illusions, The Bridge across Forever, There’s no such place as Far Away … gave me wings that let me fly for nearly 2 decades.

    And now with nearly 2 decades grounded in mass-consensus reality, wings clipped, heart that barely remembers the songs my soul once sang … (but if you hum a few bars, something stirs) … I need to read wonderful Jonathan’s story again …

    In the strange and mysterious ways of Google / serendipity and synchronicity, Chico Xavier brought me here – Thank you Chico and thank you Mr Bach for your soul which still remembers the songs <3

  35. On the flyleaf of my 1973 paperback copy of Pan Books is the inscription “To dearest Auntie Anne – from the Orphan Gaynors”. The circumstances behind it were these: I was living in an unfurnished flat in a working class suburb in the south west of Sydney with my three children then aged 13, 10 and 8. Their mother had returned to England for six months to visit family and friends and her furniture had arrived with the kids. We had married on New Year’s Eve of 1955 after a six-week romance. In April that year I had arrived in England to help commission a new aircraft carrier and then help work up our first all weather jet fighter squadron. I too had trained as a pilot and loved flying. Now, 18 years later, my life was a mess. On a Sunday I visited a newly-built branch of my church and during a meeting, stood up and remarked. My name is P.G. and I am an ex-communicant (an outcast) but I love this church and I hope you will accept me. Well they did, with love and warmth. One member I was introduced to was Anna Maria, an army widow of the same age and who too had three children. She offered to collect my kids after school and they just adored her. Three years later we married and in 12 months we celebrate our Ruby Wedding. We are now blissfully happy but it took 25 years before I was at last diagnosed with bipolar and adult attention deficit, the mental conditions that had torn my life apart. Now I am ready to fly again!

  36. Dear Richard Sir

    Few months ago, I read your fable Jonathan Livingston Seagull. As it must be pointed out by many of your followers the book left an everlasting impression on my life too. Whenever I feel like quitting on my dreams (which I do feel a lot whenever I encounter a failure) this story doesn’t let me quit. It’s a legendary story speaking of
    1. Quitting is not the only solution
    2. Going against the odds will eventually land you in a position where everyone is going to feel proud about you
    3. Chasing your dreams is, basically what is the real purpose of your life
    4. Imparting a strong message of how endurance and perserverance can make you win any battle

    Truly speaking I am not much updated about a lot of your works but this one was the best book I have ever read in my life. I can read it more than a hundred times to keep me going.It is an eye opener ,a kind of story that takes you to a very different kind of world still doesnt separate you from the reality. Such a positive piece of writing.

    I wrote this email just because I felt an urge to write and let you know that your writing is changing lives.Please Keep writing Sir. It inspires a lot many people in this world.

    A True fan of your writing
    Sonali

    • There’s a time in our lives, when we find that our dreams have come true, when that which we’ve lived to share are real in the hearts of the ones we love.

      For anyone who believes that comments from a reader can’t possibly change a writer, or the many distant ones who have touched them, here’s their answer.

      Sonali, thank you!

  37. Richard ,
    You always expressed your truth through your books, but your love touched my life immensely. Fiercely independent & alone yet you shared your love & wisdom with your reader family. Like Jonathan through your beautiful words you are trying to help your flock, us.
    Gratitude & love … Your Fam… Nitin Seagull.

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