What is more terrifying in life, living while realizing the horror of dying little by little each day, or dying while realizing that the horror of living will soon come to an end? Indeed, I always asked myself the same question over and over all my life: What is better, a terrifying end or an endless terrifying life? When I am tired of anguish and endless waits and useless hopes I wish a terrifying end, yet, just as you get closer to this idea and start picturing the pain you may go through while dying yet still conscious of your terrifying end, you prefer to step back and choose to live in agony again. I wish I was brave enough to end my pain, but I know more than I used to know. I know now that just by ending the pain in one cycle of life that does not mean the pain will not repeat in the next cycle of life again. I know now, that if I have not clarified all my doubts and healed all the pain from the past I will come back to the same spot the same pain the same anguish over and over and over, no matter how many lives I live and how many deaths I die. So, it is this the reason why I have decided to live my life in the middle of the two, not in horror of dying or in horror of living. None of the extremes is better and never will.
I went to see a musical last night, a very known musical, Man of La Mancha. For all who know the story they are aware that it is just a funny story of a man who went crazy enough to see the windmills as giants and call himself Don Quixote the knight who fights the giants. Indeed such man was crazy and was near his death, and so in the last days of his life he had the most beautiful adventure that made him feel heroic as to not regret a life lived in vain. It was his soul’s last attempt to feel useful and honored not for the money he possessed but for his qualities in life. And as Don Quixote went on that short journey before dying, to find glory and love and meaning for his life and death, he meets a poor servant Aldonza. Despite the way she looks and behaves, which were appropriate and expected from a girl in her position, expected to serve food and be laughed at and abused, this crazy man decides to see someone else in her. Just like he does with his life he decides to do the same with Aldonza and so he addresses as if she is a noble lady, which name is Dulcinea instead of her ordinary name. Don Quixote’s imagination and last impossible dream as the last attempt of his soul to make him feel worthy for the life he lived, is not always welcomed and accepted by those involved in his crazy imagination. Aldonza tries to wake him up from this absurd dream of his and she wants him to see her for who she really is, a servant, a girl who was left to die on a ditch by a mother who could no longer feed her and take care of her, a girl that was forced to work as a prostitute in the Inn she served, where she was at least granted food and a place to sleep. That was what Aldonza wanted this man to see. She was realistic about her life, and did not want to create any illusions about the hardships she had to endure in life. She was obedient to her fate, while this old crazy man refused to see the reality and so he invented Don Quixote and Dulcinea. But life is brutal, and reality will win in the end. The man comes to his senses minutes before dying. He regains his consciousness long enough as to sign the last will and testament with which he leaves all that he owns to his beloved niece. But, as he was about to leave this world Aldonza appears. She tries to remind him about the quest. What quest? The quest of living an impossible dream. And I questioned this move, was it right or wrong?
Why did Aldonza try to wake in him the impossible dream? Was she trying to profit from this man’s madness and gain some part on his heritage? Or was she doing it because she could not let go of the beautiful dream this man inspired in her once she found relief in it? I would say the second reason is the truth, which also inspires the first reason after all. It was right and wrong at the same time. It was right for her to want to dream of a world that was different from the one she faced day after day, where she was abused physically and emotionally. It was right for her to trying to escape the world of horror she was forced to live in. It was right for her to make sure that this man truly existed and it was not a dream on her side either. It was right to go and see him for the last time and inspire him to live his dream in his last moments before death so his soul will leave in peace while feeling fulfilled as a hero who once fought and saved his lady Dulcinea. It was also right for her to believe that a man died but not her hero Don Quixote. It was right for her to believe she was Dulcinea rather than Aldonza, however, it would not have been right for her to demand part of the heritage because of a crazy dream. It would not have been right for her to go back to the Inn and demand to be served instead of serving. Living a beautiful dream inside your head as a way to heal your wounds is Okay but living your dream by denying the reality is a disaster.
Aspiring to build the life you dream and use proper tools and proper plans is correct, but making your own plans to live the life you dream by screwing other people’s lives is wrong, totally wrong. It is a difference between aspiring to live your dream and forcing it. It is a difference and that is not hard to notice. Inside ourselves, deep inside ourselves we all know it is wrong to force and impose our will on others, just as it is wrong for others to force and impose their wills on us. Hence aspiring to live a dream is the correct way, but that requires many others to be involved and inspired to live the same dream; the dream of a peaceful world. Otherwise, living our dreams individually by locking ourselves inside our dream worlds while denying the reality will make us seem as mad as the Don Quixote of Mancha, and then pay the consequences of our actions. A little bit of madness of dreaming the impossible dream is right but forcing the impossible dream on others, and doing anything impossible to live your impossible dream is wrong. Basically by doing so you will entitle yourself to hurting others just because you had a dream, but by inspiring others to see such dream and work together to build that dream is a different story altogether. Yes in a world of madness being too realistic is a pain and life becomes a burden. Therefore a bit of madness will help to see the beauty beyond imperfections, but only a little bit of it my friend, only a little bit.