Richard Randolph

July 3, 1955--Oregon
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I Guess That's What the Greeks Meant by Fate

When Titania, the queen of the fairies,
falls in love with an ass in A Midsummer Night's Dream,
she's really reached Bottom,
and we cannot help but pity her.
But it's amusing, too, to see someone
so noble so blinded by love,
and we recognize the truth in it.
After all, that might well be any one of us,
because love is not really a choice.
It's not based on respect, intelligence, shared sensibilities,
or any of those fine justifications we tell ourselves.
In fact, it's not sensible at all,
but something that happens to us,
like a pan falling on our head,
or a car hitting us unaware.
The ancients believed that Cupid would
randomly shoot us with an arrow,
and then we'd fall for the next person we saw,
even an ass, and I believe that's about right.
Of course, who we love is very important,
that person can make us truly happy or terribly sad,
but we don't get to choose.
We can only decide what we do afterward.
Do we accept our destiny or battle against it?
I guess that's what the Greeks meant by fate.
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