THE PRINCESS PATHOS
As each of us battles his or her path of life, we mostly stumble along in a confusion which has us feeling insecure about what is coming next. As we try to relate to the opposite sex, we admit we donít know how "they" think, so we feel even more puzzled. As we are required to respond to our "mates," one acts according to stereotype views of "them" which have developed in years of frustration and disappointments. Old hurts seem to never heal, and one is cautious of being hurt again. We are all, finally, wounded souls whose primary issue is self-defense. We speak of love; we want love; and we mistrust love because thatís where our hurts happened before. So, life is a tragedy of wounded souls, all trying to get beyond the dysfunctional behavior patterns we have adopted.
To introduce this article, I want you to imagine a grade-school playground at recess. Little girls and boys tend to gather separately. The little girls are laughing and giggling as they hold hands and share their dreams with each other. Little boys are quite different as they push and shove, instinctively battling for dominance. And their dreams are also quite different as they know life will be a contest for success, always competing against other men. Their thoughts are mostly about short term problems, dealing with the class bully, playing ball after school, daydreaming of a bike or a BB gun, or of romping with the dog. Life is not a giggle for boys in boot camp.
Later in a boy's life, after the old Knight has battled his wars; scarred and tired, his mind finds some refuge in pondering what dreams those little princesses had on that playground, in their innocence, and his mind knows a sadness which he canít quite describe as he feels the shame of a Knight who failed to protect the damsels-in-distress so that their dreams could come true. Where did it all go so wrong?
There is a song in the stage play of LES MISERABLES that touches me deeply as a man. The lady, Fantine, at the end of her life, sings her plaint in I DREAMED A DREAM. When young, she had a romance, was abandoned by the man who fathered her little girl, Cossette. Fantine lost her job at a factory because of jealous co-workers and was forced to work the street in order to send monthly payments to an innkeeper for the care of Cossette. She was falsely accused by a john, charged by the merciless gendarme, Javert, and rescued by Msr. Madeleine, the owner of the factory from which she had gotten sacked. Thinking back on her life, she sings this song.
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting;
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting;
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die;
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted;
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted.
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame...
He slept a summer by my side;
He filled my days with endless wonder;
He took my childhood in his stride;
But he was gone when autumn came.
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather.
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
I believe that every woman has a rightful claim to the lament of that song. I think that every man loves the "princess" image of little girls, knowing that in their innocence they dream of "princess" lives. How nice the world would be had their dreams come true. It might be one of a manís worse griefs to know that it never happens, not for any little girl. She grows old with her little box of keepsakes and her images of lost dreams, silently singing "Life has killed the dream I dreamed."
One might ask if that isnít also true for little boys? I think it is different. Boys become men, being somewhat similar to bull elk, to walk alone. They know early that no mercy awaits them, as they must be responsible for a career, income, and a family, and that the competitive battle for success will be fierce.
I think that many men must be like me; after passing middle age and finding some plateau, I am deeply moved at the sight of little princesses, knowing how delightedly they dream of happiness, and knowing the disappointment which awaits them.
When nothing else in the world can penetrate the tough defenses of an irascible old veteran of many battles, donít you know that a little princess can walk right through that battered armor to find a warm hug in his heart. Strangely, a little princess always seems drawn to a grizzled old Knight when she meets one, but she wonders at the tear in his eye when she sits on his lap.
For me, personally, it is my sadness that I was so occupied with my own insecurities that I missed the many promptings of love from my princess, and failed her. Her Knight can only hang his head and write this piece about princesses in hope that some other noble man might do better. It is, after all, the instinctive nature of our white race to be virtuous, as I have described above. Only our European Christian race has rich literature, legends, and heroes of chivalrous knights and noble virtues. Think of the King Arthur legends, and Edmund Spencer's FAERIE QUEENE. The Ishmaelite race of Islam demeans, debases, abuses, and kills its women. The modern anti-God feminist liberals despise chivalry. Only our race of Men has a passion to return the missing rib to our breasts - lovingly. It is up to us, and we hurt when we fall short.
by Roger Hathaway, June 2012
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