Going through some of the memories, Nikos Kazantzakis came in front of my eyes! And one word came to my mind! Passion!
Immortal Nikos Kazantzakis and who else then Alexis Zorbas!
Well, 13th of June 2018, I was invited to enjoy the musical “Zorba.” performed by the Vempo Theatre of Athens and held at open Municipal Theatre in Larnaca. Just an exceptional experience with passionate people. Even those that had doubts about life became passionate about living life, by chewing the air with full lungs! You can see the video I took at the closing of the play. It is not long, and it will, I hope, increase your immunity to all viruses around!
Why Nikos Kazantzakis and why Zorbas?
Well, in the first quarantine diary, 13 days ago, I stated:
“However, thoughts were flying due to spare time, that there are tremendous positive things which will definitely happen during quarantine! After a week of preparing and another week of getting crazy, the third week will produce some of the unique thoughts humanity experienced! Even we might find out in the next one to two decades that new Nikola Tesla is among us! That alternative way of development of the human species started taking place in the days of quarantine!
What gold for behaviorists! Good one!
In the end, all those scientists might realize that genuine science is somewhere else.
It is in us!”
And Nikos Kazantzakis fit the thought!
Yes, before “Zorbas” Nikos Kazantzakis already published some of his writings. Or under the pseudonym of “Karma Nirvami” or with his name. However, many analyses mentioned he had in his mind to write the book about Giorgi Zorba, his partner in lignite business they set up in Greece’s Mani Peninsula some years before he wrote it. Again, beautiful information. Kazantzakis crunched in his mind the idea about the book for over two decades! Those years that he needed to live and survive by doing other things. And then what happened?!
It was August 1941, the first days of the German occupation of Greece, when under quarantine in Aegina Kazantzakis wrote “Zorba” in 45 days!
Then it was not called quarantine, but maybe isolation as Germans put a curfew in place! That was the time when feelings and thoughts stored in the soul of immortal Nikos Kazantzakis went out, translated into the words which are here to stay with us forever! The final version of the book was completed in Athens in 1943.
So what makes Zorba so unique?
It is unique in the expression! Radiating such a positive energy about life purpose and life needs. About PASSION! Not about business profits. But in search of what life is! Questioning what we are doing here, what is the purpose of our existence, where do we stand with it, and so many other feelings that derivate from the words Kazantzakis used like the violin virtuoso.
Words that can hide other words as those will lose their meaning if said!
Or to say it differently as a quote from one song, that there are words which show their value ONLY if they are not said!
That is called common sense!
Something we have lost and something we will always have the opportunity to get it back even in the quarantine we live in now. It is not an occupation; it can be a liberation! It is your choice!
As Marie Curie explained: “there is nothing in life to be feared; it is only to be understood.”
One thing to be understood is from the end of the novel ” Zorba the Greek.”Or?
” Then with the sun finally setting, Soula the small chubby girl who brought me my mail from the town, came up. She was barefooted, vivacious. Leaving a letter for me, she departed, running. I understood. I mush have understood, because I did not jump to my feet and vent a cry, did not feel surprised. I was certain, certain that precisely at that moment, just as I was holding the completed manuscript on my knees and watching the setting su, I would receive this letter. I read it peacefully, without breaking into tears. It was from some village near Skopia in Serbia, written in German after a fashion. I translate it:
“I am the village schoolmaster and am writing you to announce the sad news that Alexis Zorba, who ran a magnesite mine here, died last Saturday at 6.00 p.m. Just before the end he, called me. ‘Come here, teacher,’ he said to me :‘I have such-and-such a friend in Greece. When I die, write him that I died and that I was in sound mind until my last moment, my head really screwed on right, and I remembered him. And that whatever I did, I don’t regret anything. And tell him that I wish him well, and that it’s surely time
now, at last, for him to put some sense in his head. And if some priest
comes to confess me and have me receive communion, tell him to beat it
and let me receive his curse. I did this, that, and other things in my life, but
still not enough. People like me should live a thousand years. Good night!’
Those were his final words. Right away he sat up on his pillows, threw off
the sheets, tried to jump to his feet. We ran to hold him—Lyuba, his wife, I,
and a few strong-armed neighbors. But he shoved us aside, got out of bed,
went as far as the window. There he caught hold of the sill, looked out to-
ward the mountains with protruding eyes, and began to laugh and after that
to whinny like a horse. As he stood erect like this, his fingernails digging into the windowsill, death found him. His wife, Lyuba, has instructed me to
write that she greets you and that her late husband spoke regularly to her
about your good nature, it seems, and that regarding a santouri that he had,
he instructed that we hand it over to you at his death in order, it seems, that
you may remember him. His widow therefore hopes that whenever you hap-
pen to visit our village you will come to her house to spend the night and in
the morning, when you leave with our best wishes, you will also take with
you the santouri.”
Dear readers, use immortal Kazantzakis and his Zorba as inspiration to do things which will stay behind you when all this is behind us!
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