Nov 4, 2010

Where is Dulcinea del Toboso?

[…] he came to the conclusion that nothing more was needed now but to look out for a lady to be in love with; for a knight-errant without love was like a tree without leaves or fruit, or a body without a soul. (From Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Cervantes)

I remember the first time I read this passage, back then I was a naïve teen at the university, in Bogotá. I was a delusional romantic, falling in love with my female classmates, writing poems of love and solitude, and composing love letters to my beautiful beloveds. I couldn't agree more with Don Quijote!

Today, I couldn’t be less concerned about finding my Dulcinea del Toboso; although it’s been quite sometime since I felt legitimately in love… ever since then I’ve been enjoying of the short nightly adventures that life my bestow upon me! So distant I’ve kept myself from getting involved romantically that a life without marriage and offspring is starting to seem quite reasonable: I’ve always wanted a family and children, but at this time of history it isn’t really necessary for me to pass my genes to the next generation… is it? It’d be more for the gratification and the satisfaction of familial love than for anything else.

I’m wondering if I should become a knight-errand and find her, my Dulcinea… just as the one Don Quijote describes in chapter XIII:

[…] her rank must be at least that of a princess, since she is my queen and lady, and her beauty superhuman, since all the impossible and fanciful attributes of beauty which the poets apply to their ladies are verified in her; for her hairs are gold, her forehead Elysian fields, her eyebrows rainbows, her eyes suns, her cheeks roses, her lips coral, her teeth pearls, her neck alabaster, her bosom marble, her hands ivory, her fairness snow, and what modesty conceals from sight such, I think and imagine, as rational reflection can only extol, not compare.

And go crazy and abandon all my wits for the sake of love and adventure! It doesn’t sound so bad, too lose oneself and sacrifice reason and logic for an exceedingly beautiful and exceedingly intelligent lady. It could be the perfect excuse to stop worrying about the insignificance and mundanity of the human condition; like paying taxes, buying the milk, waking up early to catch the bus, or bothering the secretary because after eight months in France I still can’t get my social security number…

A field of tulips in Holland (1886), Claude Monet

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