“Tell me something,” she whispered to me as we lay together across the couch.
I held her in my arms.
Her eyes met the ceiling, and mine met her gentle face.
“Talk to me. Tell me things,” she said.
“Life is a beautiful tragedy,” I replied. “It’s painful at times, but in the end it’s quite nice.”
I don’t know whether or not she was satisfied with my answer. All I know is that she then kissed me.
Her lips caressed mine. I felt warm. I will never forget the softness of those lips, nor the catharsis I felt every time she glanced at me.
We all know in our heart of hearts that life is something rather special, even though day-to-day life can seem mundane and weigh us down. There is a dormant knowledge that life can be free and beautiful, a marvelous and astonishing journey of the soul—one that was most obvious when we were children.
Though of course, with any emanation of light, comes its antithetical forces, those of pain, strife, and ultimately—tragedy.
There is no avoiding tragedy. It is an inescapable fact of life. If there is to be beauty, love, and happiness, then there must be tragedy.
Tragedy comes swiftly and in many forms, whether it be in the form of loss, illness, or failure. It comes hard, and with a kind of ruthless glory.
What I meant when I spoke to her was not that the beauty outweighs the pain, rather they are but one. They move in accordance with each other. They are two sides of the same experiential coin.
Khalil Gibran, the early 20th century poet, sums it up quite well:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
I didn’t want to loosen my grip of her. I wanted her to stay close to me. This space we held together was sacred.
Her eyes crossed paths with mine once again, shooting chills up my spine. She turned to face me, and the communion between us was never more stark.
Her skin was moist and silky, and the image of her glowing complexion with powerful serenity and mystical calmness will be burned into my mind forever.
I knew that it was going to end. Eventually, I’d have to leave this moment behind and go about my own path, but that only made it all the more beautiful.
Tragedy is beautiful. Perhaps that is the great secret of life.
Embrace all of it, the whole mess. Embody the tragic beauty that makes up the human experience rather than succumb to the vast triviality of modern culture. Feel what needs be felt. Love. Play. Be a part of it all, not simply a passive observer. Dance. Breath it all in. Be immersed in the flux of the universe.
It is the balance of beauty and tragedy that make the movement of the cosmos into an endless party. Come take part.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: GettysGirl4260/ flickr
Editor: Deb Jarrett