“Everything Is Beautiful”

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A beautiful passage from Chekhov:

“In Oreanda they sat on a bench not too far from the church, looked down on the sea, and were silent.  Yalta was barely visible through the morning mist, white clouds stood motionless on the mountaintops.  The leaves of the trees did not stir, cicadas called, and the monotonous, dull noise of the sea, coming from below, spoke of the peace, of the eternal sleep that awaits us.  So it had sounded below when neither Yalta nor Oreanda were there, so it sounded now and would go on sounding with the same dull indifference when we are no longer here.  And in this constancy, in this utter indifference to the life and death of each of us, there perhaps lies hidden the pledge of our eternal salvation, the unceasing movement of life on earth, of unceasing perfection.  Sitting beside the young woman, who looked so beautiful in the dawn, appeased and enchanted by the view of this magical decor – sea, mountains, clouds, the open sky – Gurov reflected that, essentially, if you thought of it, everything was beautiful in this world, everything except for what we ourselves think and do when we forget the higher goals of being and our human dignity.”

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