Ataya NessAiver
"G-d is the partner of our innermost soliloquies" ~Victor Frankel

Peace vs. Chaos: The paradox of Human Strength

During the latest bout of rockets sent from our friendly Witches of the West, I found myself staring at a beautiful sunset in Otniel, and just thinking: How? How does beauty exist in a world so sodden and deadly? How can the sun set, day after day, with all it’sĀ  gloriousĀ  pomp, and we not feel it’s mocking our pain?

The following is a semi-poetic reflection of that question, of that yearning to understand the paradox of reality, and perhaps the way it shows it’s colors in our own lives.

The sun is going down. Brilliant colors, floating the length of the horizon, gently caressing the world as the day comes to a close. This peace, this beauty…it’s angering. Its so calm and peaceful – and it’s a lie. Or so it feels. How can such peace exist, over a world of rockets, of death of war. Of conflict of struggle, a world torn by Holocaust and massacre, where families starve and dictators take what their hearts’ desire, ripping others out of their chests. How can beauty exist, can balance be found, can harmony be painted on a canvas where modern apocalysm should be the only stroke of the brush.

Day after day, we struggle through life, ’till frustration and yearning become our best friends. Where pain hurts and the scream is caught in the depths of our soul, heard only by the psychologist, the surgeon of our deepest desire. We sink, we drown, water pours through the windows of our soul.

But the sun sets. And the colors, oh the colors.

Babies laugh, smiling at their mothers. Children play, rolling in the freshly wet soil, puddles dirtying their soft little hands and feet.

Friends reach out, picking each other up as they fall down. Families sit ’round the dinner table sharing their days, and their pain, somehow, mysteriously fades.

And people wake up. The rain still drips, pitter patter on the roof tiles. The bitter sweet scent of coffee floats through the heat of the home. Home.
And outside there are colors. Oh, the colors.

The wind wafts through the cool morning air, scents of winter, of the times ahead, sending their early autumn messengers to herald their arrival. But the sweater is warm. Soft and fuzzy, a cashmere fire gently playing it’s part to keep the warmth inside.

Outside, the world chatters. Beeping, whirring, swirling, flowing. And the colors…. They start to fade, calmly welcoming their counterparts. Billboards project, phones flash, stop lights blink in a whirlwind of energy so different and indifferent to their natural predeccesor.

And then the warmth comes out. Streams of energy coil and stretch, grabbing hold of reality, of the neverending network ebbing and radiating, pulsating with Unfathomable Depth, and begin to change it. A tornado of the unknown rages and yet that warm peace, that deepest desire, that yearning, that pain, opens into love. Scyscrapers shoot up, actualization of scientific and artistic genius. The storm rages and yet new music lilts from our lips, and somehow, somehow, we expand. Somehow, in this universe, we remain. We exist. Day after day, a prism of complexity, radiating colors, painting the world with our defiant light. Sometimes classic. Sometimes modern. Sometimes a single dot that SOMEHOW includes everything, in contrast to the surrounding void.

Somehow, colors exist. Somehow, the sunset exists, gently caressing this world, day in and day out despite the bad, the evil. And somehow, man does exactly the same.

About the Author
Originally from a charedi background in Baltimore, I made Aliyah approximately three years ago and joined Hesder through Yeshivat Kerem B'yavneh. I served in the Tanks brigade for a year and a half, and am now studying in Yeshivat Otniel.
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