What a gift it would be to have a friend like this – or better yet, to be a friend like this.
A very short excerpt from Zorba the Greek:
“Things we are accustomed to, and which we pass by indifferently, suddenly rise up in front of Zorba like fearful enigmas. Seeing a woman pass by, he stops in consternation.
“‘What is that mystery?’ he asks. ‘What is a woman, and why does she turn our heads? Just tell me, I ask you, what’s the meaning of that?’
“He interrogates himself with the same amazement when he sees a man, a tree in blossom, a glass of cold water. Zorba sees everything every day as if for the first time.
“We were sitting yesterday in front of the hut. When he had drunk a glass of wine, he turned to me in alarm:
“‘Now whatever is this red water, boss, just tell me! An old stock grows branches, and at first there’s nothing but a sour bunch of beads hanging down. Time passes, the sun ripens them, they become as sweet as honey, and then they’re called grapes. We trample on them; we extract the juice and put it into casks; it ferments on its own, we open it on the feast-day of St. John-the-Drinker, it’s become wine! It’s a miracle! You drink the red juice and, lo and behold, your soul grows big, too big for the old carcass, it challenges God to a fight. Now tell me, boss, how does it happen?’
“I did not answer. I felt, as I listened to Zorba, that the world was recovering its pristine freshness. All the dulled daily things regained the brightness they had in the beginning, when we came out of the hands of God. Water, women, the stars, bread, returned to their mysterious, primitive origin and the divine whirlwind burst once more upon the air.”