Athena’s owl whispers to me softly,
Wooing my ear from sunrise to sunset.
Gently upon my shoulder she lingers.
Urging me my values not to forget.
Seeker of truth and wisdom,
Her servant I remain.
“Your intellect shall prosper,” she claims,
“So long as your devotion you shall maintain.
“Stay on the path. Dare not stray.
You have a destiny to be fulfilled.
Follow me through all you do
And all your passions shall be instilled.”
Suddenly, without presage,
A wave arises, clashing upon the shore.
Aphrodite comes bearing her golden apple.
“Wouldn’t love’s sweet song you rather hear more?
“See the man that yonder comes,
O so strong, so caring, so sweet.
Your heart he shall caress
And once more it shall beat.”
“Bah, he’s but a fool,” Athena cries.
” ‘Tis mental stimulation that you seek.
Love and passion shortly fade,
And your future shall be quite bleak.
“Besides, your heart has deceived you more than once.
How many times shall you give in till you learn?
Why would you care to feel the fires of passion?
For the time being they warm; yet, ultimately they burn.”
“My dear Athena,” Aphrodite sighs.
“For all your wisdom you are bitter and cold through and through.
The loveless life is not worth living.
I pity all who follow you.
“Sure, risks are involved in matters of the heart.
Yet, how mighty are the joys it yields!
Those who follow love’s gentle song
Dwell in the Elysian Fields.”
“And what happens when the flowers wither?
You’re too wise to chase such dreams.
My darling, I offer you glory.
Don’t listen. Trust me, love is not as it seems.
“This man that yonder comes,
Has been enchanted by your beauty and wit.
Yet, eventually every enchantment disperses,
And regardless, in the end, alone you shall sit.
“Just as all the others,
He’ll pierce your heart with tears and melancholy.
‘Tis better to remain in solitude
Than to lose your glittering mind. I urge you, follow me.
“The deceiving rays of love shall only cast a shadow
Upon your intellect, your reason.
Why forego a life of joy
For a ‘love’ that shall last but a season?
“Besides, you share nothing in common.
Your values do not reconcile.
Why cling to hope that he shall change?
My sweet, it pains me to see you in denial.
“Take my hand and I vow you’ll discover and learn
All that for which you yearn!”
“O foolish wisdom,” Aphrodite rebuffs.
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.”
“Enough!” I roar. “No more of your wicked tongues!
“To neither of you shall I devote,
Not to wisdom’s solitude,
Not to the passions which previously smote.
“A new goddess arises
At whose alter I shall kneel.
One who espouses logic and love.
One who upon the union places an eternal seal.
“You’ll laugh and say I worship a false idol.
You’ll claim such fancies cannot be reified.
You’ll declare this goddess is an illusion.
I say to you, you both have lied.
“As for the man that yonder comes,
He may not be ideal for me.
Tomorrow, he may leave,
Or the next day I might flee.
“Yet, where is it written that one cannot practice reason
And enjoy the companionship of another?
Why must love be synonymous with a husband?
Why can’t love be found in a lover?
“For now, I’m exclusive to neither love nor wisdom.
With a liberated soul I choose me.
As for the man that yonder comes,
I shall merely enjoy his company.
“For company does not dictate
The relinquishing of freedom and pursuit of one’s destiny.
“It simply allows one to enjoy
Not the sorrows, but the heirs of love’s glee.