a dangerous passivity

he wants to talk morality and choice
as if they are pieces in some celestial
chess game, with us the pawns

prepainted shades that place us
into set squares at the start
predestined or already damned

or sails, empty
and awaiting impetus

but this is more than a game.
this is life, our lives
not moved or driven
entirely outside
and we choose direction

we are not all of us slid
one square to the other
sacrificed unknowing

and even those sailboats
awaiting wind
have rudders for steering
independent of it

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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19 Responses to a dangerous passivity

  1. nelle says:

    One of the concepts I rejected in Catholic teaching was the notion of God knowing our outcomes. To create a being and know of a the tragic end smacks of a sadistic streak, and that I cannot countenance.

    • Oh, me neither. Would have loved to have you here, joined in this particular conversation across the breakfast table.

      • nelle says:

        It’s one I’ve delved into a lot over the last decade. If such a deity existed, I fear my defiance. No one should be predestined to horror, in the receiving or committing.

        • No they should not.
          I also don’t believe (and I say this as a believer–but you know I irritate the p*$$ out of most of them) that anyone who made us would wish that ill on anyone–goes against that whole bit about being reluctant that any should perish, etc., etc.

  2. ruleofstupid says:

    Destiny precludes meaning. Without free-will we would be no more than thinking clocks, unable to stop our own hands as we watch them, terrified, approach some unstoppable alarm, or toll some unearned achievement. Who would create such empty suffering, such vapid victories, to what end? Noone and none.

  3. Trent Lewin says:

    I think all passivity is dangerous. To me might even be a redundant phrase. What’s the point of living if you’re going to do it passively? What does passive even mean in that context? There are more people alive now than have died in the history of human existence; every passive life seems to me to be a shame. At any rate, who is it that is talking about morality and choice?

    • LOL, some guy that thinks it is all predestined, that spiritual forces act through us. In short, a nutball. Turned my mind this way, though.

      • Trent Lewin says:

        I think I am predestined
        to get really drunk and find this guy, and slug him across the arse with a 60 of rye. I should be so lucky.

        • Hahaha–want the address?

          • Trent Lewin says:

            Sure. Me and a buddy of mine once got really mashed up and came up with a line (I think it was mine, actually): sometimes you have to burn the temple down. I still don’t know what it means. Later that night, we saw northern lights on my apartment roof (this was Ontario – not possible to see them there, but I was sure of it), and I wrapped a towel around my head and pranced around on the metal roof pretending to be a holy man. Someone dumped jello down my pants, so I ran around extolling the virtues of “ass jello”, and tried to offer it up as holy food. Sometimes, honestly, you really do just have to burn the temple down.

            • Love that line and that temple of whatever it is that is being kept sacrosanct certainly does need burning. As for the lights–I know I saw the aurora once in Ontario in January (around Georgian Bay, I was) many, many moons ago–it was a flicker, a faint far flicker of green and I know we saw its edges to the northwest. Sound like you used to party the way I did–I used to do odd stuff like try to burn the soles of someone’s feet with my lighter, because he said he wasn’t completely stoned yet, because he still had sensation in his feet. Heh. Long story there.

              • And now I want to write something about burning temples down. Dammit. Can I have it? Please, sir?

              • Trent Lewin says:

                Oh there’s a poem in there, SLD (I now pronounce your name “sled”, it’s meant to be affectionate). Let’s have it now. My partying days are long expired, but I like to think I threw some legendary parties and did some true madness before I realized that it was going to terminate me if I kept it up. Now it comes out infrequently, but it is usually worth a laugh.

                • OK, deal about the temple-burning (thank you!) & double affirmative (which I think just makes it more positive, as opposed to negative) on the wild & crazy days. They are fuel for my smiles now.

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