The safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. -C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters
What is it that deals us our greatest
blows, that is our undoing?
Is it our enemy, the devil?
Or blatant evil, so closely cloaked–
‘live’ spelled backwards?
Were Satan so visible, obvious
he’d be easily stopped or avoided.
Yet hidden behind the dailiness,
the benign and harmless, it isn’t the devil,
but merely distraction and dissipation
that do us in. Like the waning wick of
a candle, our light goes out.
Distracted by the simply innocuous,
surely this couldn’t hurt,
dissipated by attention to frivolity,
certainly I have energy for this as well,
We succumb to defeat.
dissipation—“to lessen one’s effect
or impact, to deflate,”
distraction—“to look away from,
to lose one’s direction and
goal, a mindless diversion.”
There is no actual destruction;
Either way—deflated or diverted,
eventually we fall,
becoming over time,
useless and at last,