Not yet fully formed

Not yet fully formed

A wonderful comment by Zorba regarding the mental development of his boss.  Not, perhaps, a line to try on your own boss, however true it may seem. See also his equally crushing comment on his boss’s behaviour towards the workers.   “I hope you don’t mind...
Career choices

Career choices

Here Zorba points out the choices his boss has to make, since you can’t prattle about socialism and be a capitalist at the same time, or at least not without some hypocrisy. See him also put his boss in his place as far as mental development is concerned. “Look...
Cretan KPIs – Key Penmanship Indicators – VII

Cretan KPIs – Key Penmanship Indicators – VII

I found this description of the stark Cretan landscape startlingly original, using good prose as a metaphor and incidentally giving a taut definition of what makes for fine writing. I gladly add this to the WritingRedux series of Key Penmanship Indicators (KPIs). I...
Untimely-awakened street

Untimely-awakened street

‘The youth’ mentioned here is Jesus, not yet aware of or ready for his destiny, though it pursues him through dreams and rude awakenings. May your street, your sleep, and even your life, be free of untimely awakenings. ‘The youth, still standing,...
Thickly-foliaged cedar

Thickly-foliaged cedar

Another reference to the magnficent cedar, a source of scented sap and sunset-watching shelter. ‘The day grew dim. They lay down under a thickly-foliaged cedar and watched the sunset.’   Source: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation, trans. P.A. Bien...
Tear-shaped pellets

Tear-shaped pellets

This is a Biblical land and so perhaps the tear-shaped scented cedar sap pellets came from Lebanon.  Elsewhere the cedar provides a sheltering spot to watch the sunset. ‘The sexton threw tear-shaped pellets of cedar sap into the censer to deodorize the...
Dying for a song

Dying for a song

A surprising, refreshing view of God as one who forgives singers as sinners because he just loves their song. “Shrewd devil, you know very well that God pardons singers no matter what they do, because he can simply die for a song… ”   Source:...
A sweetened world

A sweetened world

This is a beautiful description of a moment of understanding or enlightenment.  Wherever you are, and whatever you are grappling with, may you have moments when the world about you sweetens, grows circular and fills your grasp.  And death vanishes into the bargain....
When does a world disappear?

When does a world disappear?

When does a world disappear? When inequality goes too far. Inequality seems much in the news these days, an apparently growing bane regardless of how well people are doing at either end of whatever spectrum. This stark and extreme example sums up the iniquity of...
The cry of justice

The cry of justice

Sooner or later, someone, somewhere will cry out against a wrong, no matter how small and despised their voice to begin with, nor how long they have tolerated it previously. This pithy assertion caught my attention just as three former Presidents – who once...
Heaven-kissed Carmel

Heaven-kissed Carmel

In Kazantzakis’ telling of the story of Jesus, his mother does not go through life beatifically accepting her God-ordained role and motherhood. Instead she is resentful of the smiting of her husband into paralysis and the miraculous birth of an unusual, troubled...
Newly-foliaged poplar

Newly-foliaged poplar

A curious tree for a Biblical era village, since the poplar isn’t a tree you associate with the region. And this innocent image is of a young Jesus almost choosing Mary Magdalene as his wife, and in so doing opting for a more conventional, less traumatic...
Of strength and tenderness

Of strength and tenderness

This comes from Kazantzakis’s account of Jesus’ life and death, and I found the prayer he puts in Christ’s mind astonishing as he prepares for the coming crucifixion. What an original and touching test of endurance: the capacity to undergo...
From mud to spirit

From mud to spirit

Yes, there is much you can do to transmute mud into brightness if you have enough time. I love the variety of interpretations I find regarding time and our relationship to it, and here it is cast at its most helpful, as the element that can ‘ripen all’. Of...

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