The Sublime

TerrorThere is beauty in terror. Sometimes it is ripe with an intensity that can’t help but capture our hearts. The old oak that twists and points its gnarled fingers toward the sky is a reminder, perhaps, of what is to come to all of us. The contrast of the ebony skin of death against the pale blue of the sky can be breathtaking and chilling, beautiful and eerie.

I find that I enjoy the sublime: the flashy show of a raging thunderstorm, trepidation mixed with awe, breathlessness, and eagerness. Where will the next strike land? How will it split? I live for that blinding second when the earsplitting crash reveals the nearness of such power, remaining glued to the ground, transfixed by the rage and violence of nature in spite of the terrified voice of warning at the back of my mind.

Death is important. It is inevitable. While we rail against its cruelty, we cannot have a quality of life without it. The Pale Horse brings with it a value to what it steals from our white-knuckled clutches. Without death, life would drag on endlessly, valueless, and like everything else, it would cease to mean much.

Therefore, it is in death that we can see the true value of life. That is why those images that are haunted by death seem often to be the most breathtakingly beautiful. They are gripping.