I'm reading Don Quixote right now, and I'm finding it surprisingly funny and touching. I have been wanting to read it for a while because Man of La Mancha is one of my favorite musicals. Or at least, it's one of my favorite soundtracks. I've not yet had the chance to see it performed, but I've listened to the music while reading the libretto, and much like the book, it is both heartwarming, sad, and absurd.
So, as I make my way through the novel, I usually end up singing the music to myself as I read, and the songs get stuck on repeat in my head throughout the day. Tonight, I decided to take a break from Christmas music to listen to the album, and when it got to The Impossible Dream, I stood frozen at the sink, hot water running, dirty pot in hand, listening to the lyrics. Really hearing the words.
I've always thought it was a beautiful song, but as I listened this evening, my eyes filled with tears because it resonated in a new way. It says everything I've been trying to tell myself over the past few months. To be strong in the face of oppressive disappointment and sorrow. To keep love alive when distance is a near constant companion. To follow dreams into a world of fear and uncertainty in the hopes that we will come through intact. To keep believing that despite seemingly endless setbacks, dreams can still become reality. Clinging to those beliefs like a life raft to get myself through the bad days.
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
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 a Heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm, when I'm 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.