Frederick Buechner writes:
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don't be afraid.
At night, I lie awake. Surely: somewhere in this world, in some forgotten language, there must be a word that means both beautiful and terrible, side by side. I cannot reach for a pencil or the light, for we are big spoon and little spoon - too tender to disrupt.
I know that outside, life is burgeoning: nectar drenched and pollen dusted.
Some weeks ago, alone here in this house, I read a book so terrible and beautiful that sometimes I had to get up and pace in between paragraphs.
There is no neatness in any life - great or small. It is only an illusion men foolishly pursue. The face at the door is just that - the face at the door. All lived lives are a mess. The neatness in my life had begun to crumble some time before, but now it disintegrated completely as I vanished into a world of endlessly opening doors, teasing riddles and lives without boundaries. For the first time I began to understand how shallow neatness is.
How cramping, how limiting.
For the first time I understood neat lives are comatose lives.
Soon the greatest neatness of my life began to diffuse.
Even now, so many years later, I find it difficult to fully understand how it happened so quickly, but each word written in those notebooks became like a stitch pulled out from our relationship. I read and read and read - every spare moment of my day and night - and the stitches snapped loose one by one.
I fell into those books like a frog into a well.
- Tarun J. Tejpal. The Alchemy of Desire.
Beautiful and terrible.
A man sits at a table in Gugulethu and with a knife and a fork eats the heart of his girlfriend's lover. A woman's eyes are gouged out for the sake of a cellphone. Someone who has less than me offers me something: here, you have this. Torn apart and stitched back together again. Love has tides that ebb and flow.