I have a problem with mixing up beauty and goodness. I am fully aware of how bad this is.
I mean, I’ve seen Snow White, guys. I get that the evil queen can be both hot and, well, evil.
But I still have trouble getting my head around that fact. I just can’t get past the fact that something can look one way, and be totally different. (For the record, the converse is not true for me: I don’t assume that everyone and everything ugly is evil. Even though I’ve had some I’m-wearing-sweatpants-today-and-I’m-in-a-rotten-mood moments that would affirm that idea.)
Sometimes beautiful things belie their horrible true selves. That’s the case with Robben Island. I know that awful things happened there. The relics remain: the narrow cell where Nelson Mandela spent the better part of two decades, the limestone quarry where he and other prisoners slowly went half blind as they worked in the searing sun.
But, in spite of all of that? It’s still incredibly beautiful. And that’s a hard thing to reconcile.