Sunday, January 18, 2009

security vs the world outside

The character of Quasimoto in Victor Hugo's story is one of my great favorites. I grew up on classic books and movies, and Charles Laughton's portrayal of the hunchback is burned in my memory. I searched for a painting of Esmeralda and Quasimoto, and there wasn't one that I could find. The story is a literary great, but it apparently has no counterpart in classic painting. I need to look further because I can't believe it. Sounds like a project to me.
There are personal reasons why this story is meaningful. It has much to do with how we are viewed by the world, the social implications of handicap, the cruelty of small-minded people and powers that be which never changes, but further, how destiny plays a hand in our lives when we are literally born and how do we deal with that hand. Our social status, our physical appearance, our ability to make decisions and live with courage-who wins in this story? Disney gave the story their happy ending treatment, one that I could not bear to watch. The final scene in the 1940's film adaption and the end line is such a truthful comment on the nature of being human and having a heart I would never want to disfigure or deny that truth.
I have thought much about this in a very personal sense. I think every female who ever lived longs for security, and odd as this sounds-a tower and a fearful protector who lives to care for me is a secret desire, or used to be. On a larger level I think about it in terms of life, my fear of going out into the world, being who I am, and taking on the prejudices and dangers on my own terms. I watched several movies yesterday-I was out of energy, struggling with inner turmoil and feeling no desire to move onto projects I need to do. Fear, my old enemy, is chasing me up into the bell tower. All the movies had to do with a heroine who had to vanquish old fears and not run away from their given destinies. They could have gone one of two ways, and maybe it would have worked out. I'm trying to remember the line from the one, that while was a child's film, had a great deal to say about being who you were created to be, something like...fearful people may live with mistakes, but cautious people don't live at all. I thought-there are many versions to this, but the same idea.
It feels sometimes like my brushes weight a thousands pounds, my home is an empty castle, I'm tired and I want someone else to do what I know I have to. The call on all our lives is to be human, face the joys and pains of life and embrace the day and as a creature of clay I can choose to be molded or set on the shelf. I don't want to love any more, I don't want to feel any more, I don't want to try any more. But I must or turn to stone and lose all claim on living.


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