This is not fate, this is life.

Somewhere in our minds
Lies a feeling, never fully understood,
Ancient vestige, animal instinct.
Genetic fossil, limbic brain,
Driving us, our will be damned.
Pretending to control our thoughts,
The limbic and endocrine systems control our lives.
Pleasure as pain, pain as pleasure,
Dangerous, timid, fearless or fearful,
Calculating or foolhardy,
We do our best, rarely believing we did.
Things are the way they are,
Because this is the only way they could be,
If things could have been,
They would be.

And so we live and die,
Forgiving the inevitable, rewarding good fortune.
Measuring ourselves with a fantasy,
An illusion of free will.
They should have known better!
Why? How? What difference would it have made?
And time after time the answer is the same,
“I don’t know why I did this thing.”
And the obvious is revealed,
We do our best, rarely believing we did.
Things are the way they are,
Because this is the only way they could be,
If things could have been,
They would be.

This is not an excuse for damage done
Or meant to rob us of victory.
Each event stands on another,
An unbroken string of chances and choices
Begun billions of years before our births.
Neither master nor slave, we live in between.
Nothing to forgive or regret, only acceptance and love.
This is not fate, this is life.
Never longer than a breath.
We do our best, rarely believing we did.
Things are the way they are,
Because this is the only way they could be,
If things could have been,
They would be.

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2 Responses to This is not fate, this is life.

  1. Tobias Flint says:

    Bravo! Walt Whitman lives.

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