Just sitting in the office this morning, sipping a coffee and getting ready to respond to the various emails that came in last night. It’s Vegan Girl. It’s 8:45. School started 15 minutes ago.
“Hey Vegan Girl. What’s up?” I pretended not to know the time, day or nature of the call. That’s how I roll.
“You need to come get me. The bus missed me.” That’s how Vegan Girl rolls.
Although I was amused, Dante would have been rolling over in his grave laughing. I hope he has a nice big grave. Did you know that Florence, who exiled him, wanted his body back after he was dead and made it big? I hope he’s also giving them a big ol’ middle finger in that grave. (But of course in a charitable, paradiso way, because that’s how he should roll). But I digress. Dante of course is the guy who reads Aquinas, imagines on the basis of Aquinas’s Summa what the afterworld looks like in three parts, inferno, purgatory and paradise, and them, takes every one of Aquinas’s logical syllogisms and turns them into the most beautiful piece of poetry that has ever been written. Dante was quite the guy.
The most interesting point that we learn from Dante is not that things get done to us (like the bus missing us or God rewarding us or God punishing us). God doesn’t do things to you. He’s got better things going on up there. Instead, Dante write and Aquinas agrees, we all get what we want, what we desire. That’s justice and that’s love. So if what you want is to eat an entire bucket of chicken yourself, then you must also want the terrible stomach ache and but jiggle that comes with it. And guess what, you can have that. Or if what you want is to sleep in and then wash, dry and straighten your hair, then you must also want to miss your bus and get a drive to school. And guess what? Vegan Girl got exactly that. But, if what you want is to love others and to be loved in return. You might occasionally then get taken advantage of and screwed over, but ultimately (fullness of time kind of deal), all you’ll get is love. All the people that Dante depicts in the Divine Comedy get exactly the consequences that there actions indicated they wanted. You love to talk shit? Then you’re in Inferno, eating shit. Perfect, yes?
But Vegan Girl’s argument is interesting too. A world wherein we have no intentions, but instead, things juts happen to us. For instance,
“Honey, there’s no money in the bank.”
“I know. It said it needed some space and decided to stay at the mall.”
“Oh my god. Are you alright? That pot of boiling water just jumped out of my hands and flew at an amazing speed toward your face.”
Right. Right? I guess that means there’s, in the very least, a place in purgatory with my name on it.