Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To Each His Dulcinea

I have been catching up with some of the reading that I was required to do in Junior High and High School. Only about 30 years late but cut me some slack, I wasn’t interested in reading then and probably neither were you.

I just finished an exhausting book by Cervantes called Don Quixote – you may have heard of it. It is about a man who spends all his time reading books on the Knights of Old and believes that he is called to become a Knight Errant. Knights Errant are those Knights who serve no specific king but travel the country doing good, righting wrongs, and protecting those with no protection. The motivation for this life is not money or fame but an effort to win the love of their lady. Don Quixote or the Knight of the Sorrowful Face is pestered by wizards who turn giants into windmills, invading armies into flocks of sheep, and mostly those who wish him to come home and give up this crazy dream. He comes home a few times beat up and exhausted only to escape back into his life with his squire Sancho and in the name of the beauty Dulcinea.

No one has seen or heard of Dulcinea. She exists only in the mind of Don Quixote but she is his muse, his motivation, and his might in battle. Without Dulcinea Don Quixote would be nothing more than a fool wearing a shaving basin as a golden helmet.

Who or what is your Dulcinea? What keeps you going? What is your motivation? How strong is that motivation? What makes you get up in the morning? Your Dulcinea could be one of the loves of your life: you spouse or children. It could be the future love of your life: a teenager fighting to remain a virgin. Your Dulcinea may be many things. The priests and servants of Don Quixote tried to convince him that Dulcinea doesn’t exist and his response was: “If there is no Dulcinea then I am a shell void of my very substance!” Amen, preach it brother.

There is a song in the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha on Don Quixote’s life called “To Each His Dulcinea” because while we tip at windmills daily we are strengthened by the substance of our dreams of a better life.

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