[Ponderings] To Each, His Own Dulcinea
By Philip Suzara
Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.
One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments … to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds … straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there … around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.
From the thick foliage of trees at another side of the pond, I can visualize images of some bizarre creatures like dragons and other monsters and thoughts of Don Quixote, the Man from La Mancha, a “knight in shining armour”, comes to mind.
From the pages of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s magnum opus, Don Quixote, a parody written as a romance to end all romances, a demented Don Quixote comes to life, fighting windmills and slaying dragons. He is living in the medieval period of Kingdoms and Castles, of Kings and Queens, of Knights and Dames … and, that noble medieval virtue of Chivalry. He begins to be fascinated with reading, learning of chivalric romances and exploits of legends and heroes, loses his mind and is unable to separate reality from fiction.
Don Quixote becomes a knight-errant, travelling the countryside doing good deeds and seeking adventure, to revive chivalry and serve his nation. Quixote is devoted to his fictional and unseen Lady Dulcinea, his Impossible Dream … to love, pure and chaste, from afar.
Don Quixote teaches us that life is to be challenged. That passion and discipline of a determined soul is the foundational element of a leader. He could imagine what others couldn’t. Quixote does not accept current reality and forces his creative imagery, his commitment, and his happiness on it ... to run, where the brave dare not go and to try harder, even when weary. We are Don Quixote.
“This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far, to fight for the right, without question or pause … to be willing to march into hell for that heavenly cause”. Don Quixote, the Man from La Mancha, includes the winning of Dulcinea as part of his Impossible Dream.
“To each, his own Dulcinea”, explained by Cervantes, as meaning that every man, regardless of rank or station, sees life as he chooses, sets his own goal before him, his Quest, his IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.
Here and now, we all stand in the grand cause for both God and Country, in the Altar of Freedom and Democracy, for a people, a nation, and humanity. There is a Don Quixote in many of us, inside us, in different levels of intensity. We are all flickers of light in this hallowed altar, bearing the candles of our causes, our truths, and we endure the burning, turning them into a bright glow of light when we are united, and unified, embracing the Cause and giving light to others. This cause cannot, and does not just exist by itself, it is a conglomeration of various little causes and issues that affects one’s being, situation, and/or community.
A cause is noble to the one who espouses it – no matter the cause, they are avenues for unity and unification. When a cause is slammed against another cause, one is then turning that cause into an issue and, as we know, issues are always divisive.
“And I know, if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I am laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this that, one man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star”.
The first part, tells of the adventures and travails of Don Quixote, ennobling … and it shifts, as the song goes on … and as it goes on in my mind, into the main character in this whole tableau of our lives. I am thinking of me, of you, of us … each one of us. We are that one man who has this glorious quest to make the world a better place. This is our cause.
And no cause is nobler than the other – “to each, his own Dulcinea”. You do what you can, with; whatever is available, wherever it is possible, and whenever it is possible. It is always great and noble when one extends out of one’s self for others – no matter how trivial or petty their cause may seem.
Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.
Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.