September 7, 2011


The hour was late for me — almost 12 p.m. — when, nearing the end of Haruki Murakami’s book “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, I read the following lines:

          “…the absence of fighting or hatred or desire also means the opposites do not exist either. No joy, no communion, no love. Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise: without the despair of loss, there is no hope.”

Immediately, I awoke from my stupor and though I realized he was not the first to express this sentiment, each time I am reminded of it I am struck with awe.

The world seems to thrive on the principle of opposites, though thrive is perhaps not the best word to describe it.

(Yahoo Images)

Still, strife, more than time, seems to mark the epochs of our lives and compels us to act in opposition to the quietude of the grave. Out of life comes death. Out of death life is renewed. These truths are too obvious to be ignored or left a mystery. Oddly enough, the contradictions don’t confound me. The fact that they are necessary does. Why must the world turn by opposition rather than harmony? If I knew that answer, I would be far older than 75.

And still I ask the question. The world is not as I would have created it and I am unable to quash this rebellious thought. My only comfort is that Omar Khayyam expressed it better a thousand years ago:

                Ah Love! Could you and I with Him conspire

                To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,

                Would not we shatter it to bits – and then

                Re-mould it nearer to Heart’s Desire!