"The poem begins on the day before Good Friday in the year 1300. The narrator, Dante himself, is thirty-five years old, and thus "halfway along our life's path" (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita)—half of the Biblical life expectancy of seventy (Psalm 90:10). The poet finds himself lost in a dark wood in front of a mountain, assailed by three beasts (a lion, a lonza [rendered as "leopard" or "leopon"], and a she-wolf) he cannot evade, and unable to find the "straight way" (diritta via)—also translatable as "right way"—to salvation. Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a "deep place" (basso loco) where the sun is silent (l sol tace), Dante is at last rescued by the Roman poet Virgil, who claims to have been sent by Beatrice, and the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin's punishment in Inferno is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice; for example, fortune-tellers have to walk forwards with their heads on backwards, unable to see what is ahead, because they tried, through forbidden means, to look ahead to the future in life. Such a contrapasso "functions not merely as a form of divine revenge, but rather as the fulfilment of a destiny freely chosen by each soul during his or her life.""
I would say my goal in life is to prove that life can suck, only to die, anonymous for eternity, but that it doesn't have to be that way.
It is an ironic time for me to say that, as the truth is, presently, life sucks big-time, and I expect to die any day now. BUT, I know what I know... and once a feeling of success is experienced fully, it never goes away.
Nor do experiences with guilt attached, or failure; letting someone down or failing them; making a stupid decision and possibly causing harm, death or damage. Ahhh... growing up.
Worse yet, is being an innocent victim... getting raped by someone you trust, taking the fall for something you didn't do; being misunderstood; being bullied.
There's a lot in the news lately about brutal, senseless crimes. I'm not going to name any explicitly, but either it's the media tends to cover and report these crimes more that ever, or I'm simply more sensitive to their existence.
There's no question that given the economic trauma of the last ten years that quality of life has gone south. More people are finding themselves desperate and depressed. It's sad; a sad state of affairs.
But the worst thing a person can do is what this post warned: "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here".
The time may come to do that... but the real battle in life is with death. One can never lose hope. One always has more than two choices in life. The answer always lies in what the question is that's asked.
During the 1970's I can honestly say I lived my life to the fullest. I can never forget those years, though it pains me how the memories from those days fade. That to me was life in all it's different shades and colors. Heaven and Hell.
Yeah, not all memories fade so quickly. The really painful ones, they never go away.
Next Post, Why Suicide, Why is Non-Conformity as Bad Thing, Why Take Others Down With Yourself?