Monday, November 28, 2005

tottering into heaven

“Bend and break the will, discipline and scourge the flesh, face blindly the unknown, the enormous, the terrifying. Love your life and you'll lose it. Risk it and--half blind, mangled, limbless, maimed--maybe, just, you'll totter into heaven: the place of both annihilation and total knowledge. The risk is absolute, you'll get nothing else out of it, not pleasure, not health, not affection, not comfort, and certainly not safety. Just beauty.”
--Sara Maitland, from her novel, "Ancestral Truths."

I have carried that quotation around with me for about a decade now. I’m uncomfortable with (and not really able to) bend/break/scourge, but Ms. Maitland’s words have helped me to face the unknown enormous.
I believe in the quest for Goodness and Truth, as well as Beauty, but I suspect they also require a lot of risk(!)

Somehow, I find these words comforting. I hope you do, too.


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