Esmeralda Needs Rescued!Posted on Feb 14, 2014 | 10 comments
I don’t know if men ever read this blog, And if they do, I don’t know if they are married or not. But, if there is a man that runs across this, and if he is married, I have a secret for him.
Men say woman are complicated. Maybe. But, dear male friend, if you want one small clue from a female herself to aid you in the unraveling of these so-called complexities and thus make all other aspects greatly simplified and understandable, listen up. One of woman’s deepest desire, greatest longing, and most intense need is to be rescued.
And if here, you are balking…reasoning with yourself that you can never compete with fairy tales of knights in shining armor on dashing white horses thundering in to rescue the princess…because you are middle-aged and a few pounds overweight, not as tight as you used to be, and not much of a romantic, anyway…besides, your wife isn’t looking much like royalty herself anymore and her emotions are making you a bit crazy…give me one more minute, one more shot at helping your understand.
I love the written word, and am always a bit in mourning that I arrived so late on the classic literature scene, having very little introduction to it in high school, and having never pursued higher education that may have required it. But, the little bit in which I have gotten my feet wet, has given me a great hunger for more…and one of my favorite writers is Victor Hugo. A classic novel, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, can reveal truths to yourself through the imperfect characters of the story that profoundly impact your soul and give you knowledge, courage, and influence to adjust your own misconceptions of the world and your own loss or lack of character. And here is where I get back to the real reason I am writing this blog: that is, rescuing your woman in distress.
Quasimodo, though grotesquely misshapen in his appearance, yet so loyal and selfless to those who were worthy enough to gain his affection, shows up in the most powerful and breathtaking way, as Esmeralda the Gypsy is about the be led away to her death for a crime she did not commit.
“Suddenly, at the moment when the superintendent’s assistants were preparing to execute Charmolue’s phlegmatic order, he threw his leg over the balustrade of the gallery, seized the rope with his feet, his knees and his hands; then he was seen to glide down the façade, as a drop of rain slips down a window- pane, rush to the two executioners with the swiftness of a cat which has fallen from a roof, knock them down with two enormous fists, pick up the gypsy with one hand, as a child would her doll, and dash back into the church with a single bound, lifting the young girl above his head and crying in a formidable voice,–
This was done with such rapidity, that had it taken place at night, the whole of it could have been seen in the space of a single flash of lightning.
“Sanctuary! Sanctuary!” repeated the crowd; and the clapping of ten thousand hands made Quasimodo’s single eye sparkle with joy and pride.
This shock restored the condemned girl to her senses. She raised her eyelids, looked at Quasimodo, then closed them again suddenly, as though terrified by her deliverer.
Charmolue was stupefied, as well as the executioners and the entire escort. In fact, within the bounds of Notre-Dame, the condemned girl could not be touched. The cathedral was a place of refuge. All temporal jurisdiction expired upon its threshold.
Quasimodo had halted beneath the great portal, his huge feet seemed as solid on the pavement of the church as the heavy Roman pillars. His great, bushy head sat low between his shoulders, like the heads of lions, who also have a mane and no neck. He held the young girl, who was quivering all over, suspended from his horny hands like a white drapery; but he carried her with as much care as though he feared to break her or blight her. One would have said that he felt that she was a delicate, exquisite, precious thing, made for other hands than his. There were moments when he looked as if not daring to touch her, even with his breath. Then, all at once, he would press her forcibly in his arms, against his angular bosom, like his own possession, his treasure, as the mother of that child would have done. His gnome’s eye, fastened upon her, inundated her with tenderness, sadness, and pity, and was suddenly raised filled with lightnings. Then the women laughed and wept, the crowd stamped with enthusiasm, for, at that moment Quasimodo had a beauty of his own. He was handsome; he, that orphan, that foundling, that outcast, he felt himself august and strong, he gazed in the face of that society from which he was banished, and in which he had so powerfully intervened, of that human justice from which he had wrenched its prey, of all those tigers whose jaws were forced to remain empty, of those policemen, those judges, those executioners, of all that force of the king which he, the meanest of creatures, had just broken, with the force of God.”
Oh, reader, I hope I did not lose you! Can you hear it ringing in your head? “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!” And this is what you can give to the woman in your life! This is what she wants, what she needs. There are different kinds of woman…independent or needy, intimidating or engaging, confident or insecure…but deep inside of all of us there’s a common core: the need to be taken care of. I don’t mean the sitting her down, questioning her until she’s blue in the face, summarizing what she just said in a few brisk sentences, then offering her an answer to her solution in a nice, neat little package. I mean putting your body, your time, your heart, in between her and her conflict/heartache/problem until the bullets stop flying or the enemy stops chasing.
There is a person that shows up in my night time dreams when the stress in my life reaches mountainous proportions, and the purpose is to rescue me. It is a person from my past that was there, in the midst of my youthful angst and heartaches, with all the bravado that I needed, to help me endure some of the injustices that were a part of my journey in that time of my life. This re-occurrence in my current life, unbidden, rather bothered me until I realized that the rescuing that was once offered to me by this friend, so deeply written on my phsyc and my memory, has become symbolic and telling of the depth of the need I am currently experiencing. I wake up calling on Jesus. And while this is first, and most important, it still gives voice to something that we woman are crying out for in our men.
Last week, after another day of extreme difficulty with a current challenge in our lives, my husband looked into my tear-filled eyes, and he said this: “I don’t know how I am going to solve this problem for you, but I am going to turn over every stone until we find a solution. This burden is too heavy for you, it is killing you, and I am committed to putting an end to this struggle.”
Oh.my.goodness. He has not always reacted in this way to my stress..maybe because of my own lack of communication or pride,maybe because of his own boatload of responsibility and distractions, maybe because of immaturity or lack of wisdom on both our parts, or the list goes on. But this time, he did! And a heavy, suffocating, crushing blanket of worry, anxiety, dread, and pain fell of my heart, and an incredible tide of relief , respect, and love flooded in and I felt like I was swinging high in a cathedral, safely above reach of my executioners, in the arms of my rescuer with the victorious shout of “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!” flooding my mind.
Go on Quasimodo…go on though you feel awkward or misshapen or unworthy! Your Esmeralda needs rescuing!
If anyone is interested in the recipe for Roasted Pear Cranberry Scones with Dark Chocolate for your Valentine,
you can find it here.
I used real cream with a tablespoon of lemon juice because I didn’t have buttermilk on hand.
They were amazing.
Seth and I ate them in bed this morning with coffee before the kids woke up.
It was totally worth crumbs in the bed.