Friday, November 13, 2015

The Pit of Despair

The Princess Bride is easily one of the best movies of all time. This is not an opinion; this is fact. For any plebs who haven't seen it yet, it is a love story that makes Romeo & Juliet look like common street trash (I never liked that play anyway. Why didn't we read Much Ado About Nothing in high school instead?).

Oversimplified plot: Wesley, the hero of the story, must fight to save the love of his life, Buttercup, from her engagement to a snobby prince. More detail is necessary to state my point, but we're far past the statute of limitations on spoilers here, so...

After a daring rescue, Wesley and Buttercup face terrors together only to have Buttercup end up back in the clutches of Prince Humperdink. Buttercup makes the prince promise that Wesley will be returned safely to his ship, to which request Humperdink swears his life. Little does she know that Humperdink is not nearly as forgiving as she had assumed, and the prince's right hand man, Count Rugen, instead knocks Wesley out and takes him into the forest to his deranged laboratory: The Pit of Despair.

As the Albino explains in the video, The Pit of Despair is not a place from which Wesley will be able to escape. He will be stuck there until the day that they (the Count, Prince, and/or Albino) kill him.

So much has been taken from Wesley, and now he faces the end. Yet he has hope. He faces his time in The Pit with the same bravery and hope to be with Buttercup that he has been facing for the duration of the film.

He does not know that the worst is yet to come. That the Count's machine will take years off his life, just one at a time. That each year will be the kind of torture that leaves him with no option other than to cry. That Prince Humperdink, in a fit of rage, will storm into the pit and fling the lever on the machine to 50.

Wesley also does not know that Inigo Montoya and Fezzik are looking for him. That they will find him, bring him back to life, and help him storm the castle on Buttercup's wedding day. He doesn't know that he will find Buttercup just before she tries to take her own life to avoid her marriage. He doesn't know that his daring rescue will barely work since he still has yet to recover the use of all his limbs, or that his new friends Inigo and Fezzik will handle the heavy lifting.


He does not know while in The Pit that there is a life after it, but that does not mean he needed to brave his way through the torturous machine. He did not need to save face as men who hated him tried to take everything away from him. Better times follow The Pit of Despair, but not everyone makes it out alive. There is no doubt in my mind that Count Ruben and Prince Humperdink had taken many lives before mostly killing Wesley, or that they intended for him to be fully dead only after torturing him with news of Buttercup's marriage and subsequent political assassination.

We, my friends, are living in The Pit of Despair. There are simply too many things for me to even write about today. I feel like Wesley, strapped to the gurney while the Albino works on healing my wounds so I have my full strength for the next round of torture. I don't see the way out, and I wonder sometimes if there is an escape in my future, while other times I have to keep the idea out of my head just so I can handle what's happening in front of me.

Yet. All is not lost. But all is not well in Zion. Not at Church. Not in the world. Not anywhere.

We're in The Pit of Despair, friends, awaiting escape that may not come--not soon enough.