But you soon notice that there are doers and there are thinkers.
Is one path better than another?
Are those who fret and don’t, worse off than those who do and die?
Are the thoughtless happy, as is commonly thought?
Or is lasting happiness elusive for one and all?
Is Macbeth onto something when he says –
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Or should I lend an ear to Zorba the Greek who offers –
How simple a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple heart.
Today I’ll go with Zorba.
I can’t say how often Nikos Kazantzakis’ wonderful novel Zorba the Greek has saved me from despondency or even from just feeling – Blah!
It’s a blood transfusion, an upper, a kick in the butt and an enticement to run riot.
I don’t even need to re-read it for it to have its enlivening effect. I need only dip into it.
If you’re feeling flat, or know someone who is, get a copy.
Take a Zorba holiday today. You won’t regret it.
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French, Korean and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for over twenty-five years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au.