Beautiful and terrible

Jeff with Drew at Key West, Florida, winter 1986

Jeff with Drew at Key West, Florida, winter 1986

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
Frederick Buechner

That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it? It might seem contradictory to affirm that terrible things will happen, yet advise against fear.  But I think there is a difference between feeling fear occasionally (or even often) versus being afraid.  As discussed in a recent post, there can be no real courage without fear.  Being courageous in spite of fear is what Buechner may have been getting at.

We’ve all known people who seem consumed by anxiety; whose major choices and daily lives are based on caution and self-preservation above all else. While it’s understandable, it’s also regrettable to think of the costs of such a defensive orientation, both to others who are denied what such people might have been able to give, and to the protected self that is closed off from  joys available to bolder spirits.

If we allow fear to paralyze us, we will miss the beauty.  It’s a worthy goal to see things as they are– both beautiful and terrible– and yet refuse to live in fear.  So here, today, is the world– your world.  I wish you appreciation of the beautiful and courage amid the terrible.

One year ago today:

Brilliantly disguised

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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