Wednesday, September 12, 2007

smorgasbord

I heard on public radio this morning that sunlight may help guard against Multiple Sclerosis. As you move away from the equator, rates of MS increase, peaking at northern latitudes. Also, in studies of twins, the twin who had more sun exposure was 25-75% less likely to have developed MS. And people with MS are 20% less likely to have skin cancer, possibly because they have less sun exposure. So be tan, stay mobile, and die of skin cancer, or be wrinkly and MS-free. Enough with the gross oversimplifications, but whichever dead Greek guy advocated moderation in all things, listen to him.

I've been listening to the soundtrack of Man of La Mancha, a musical based on Don Quixote. I'm not sure since I haven't read the book, but it seems that the prostitute Aldonza, whom Don Quixote calls Dulcinea, at first resents his illusioned view of her as a maiden of virtue, but with time, his idealized image of her transforms her into a lady. What had been a false image becomes the truth. Initially, Dulcinea screams, "Can't you see me for who I am?" Is it better to be loved as you really are, or is it better to be loved for the potential within? To be loved for who you are has more security, since it requires no change, and can lead to self-acceptance, which could be a good thing. To be loved for an idealized image could shatter a person's view of themselves, and help them recreate themselves as the ideal. In Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote catalyzes Aldonza's transition from a prostitute to a maiden through his belief in her. Is Don Quixote a madman, or is he seeing Aldonza's true self, the Dulcinea in her, smothered by her life of prostitution? The danger with illusion is if the holder of it is disillusioned, love may fail because the beloved cannot live up to the illusion, but maybe the illusion can lead to change.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Good question--how much of ourselves do we embrace and how much of ourselves do we try to change? And for who? Well, everything' ultimately for ourselves, no?

How much of ourselves is malleable? What is, exactly? Seems like there needs to be a balance of both, or else we're stagnant or insecure. Seems like most people have things about them that don't change, supposedly, and idealized qualities to which they aspire... balance indeed!

-E