On Becoming Your Desires

There's no escape, is there?
     Even the rocks have responsibility:
          To fall when gravity tells them to.
And I must fall into troublesome toil
If I would have that which I desire
     Which I desire because my circumstances
          Have given me a want of things
     That were impressed on me to be coveted.
Nature or nurture,
     It's all circumstance,
     A kind of cosmic dance,
And you're strung too, my friend,
Another dancing marionette
     Who thinks his steps are his own.

Believe me, we are only men.
(A high station, to be sure, but still men.)
And who knows, perhaps if there is a god,
He too is more clock than clock-maker.

There's no escape for any of us:
     No escape from being—ourselves.
The only succor lies in being who you are
     Or who your desire would have you become.

Let my word be the Fate which succors you:
     Do not struggle so with your desires,
But set them (to the extent you can)
     In harmony with each other and your world.
Do not chafe at the rule of Fate;
     For there is no escape for any of us from its Will.
And remember, most importantly:
     Do not place too much faith in good fortune,
          Lest you wail and lament when it ebbs;
     Nor curse prematurely Fate when it chastens you;
          Lest you blind yourself to a future boon.

This advice is nothing new.
     But then, my dance is like that of earlier men,
And men who will surely follow.

We are each fragments
Of the Everyman
     Whose love and suffering
Are greater than one man could bear.
Eternally He flourishes and perishes,
     All the while becoming
          Something better and wiser.
His maturity progresses in ever-briefer stages;
     We all shall be made more divine by his aging.

The entrails of circumstance may be read
     In myriad ways.
My augury is this:
     That the Everyman has been made to desire,
          Not a finite and fixed end,
But endless procreation,
     Fractal complexity and new variations.
It is for this end that you and I
     Are set into motion,
          To desire and therefore,
     To suffer
Or to exult.
And we are all
     Captives of this terrestrial ballet.
We have always been in chains of one sort or another,
But how could it be otherwise?
So what more can I say to you except this?:
     To have harmonious desires is a blessing of Fate.
     To become your desires is—the only happiness.

George Chadderdon © 1995