What do you make of this take on masculinity? Or, if you prefer, this take on the importance of certainty.
Yes, this is another post inspired by Zorba the Greek. See my rant about uneasiness and letting go, too, if you like.
The two nomad friends must part ways in the morning. The “Boss” can’t bear the emptiness of this inevitably and insists on staying up all night with Zorba. Zorba insists, no, it all must be ended quickly, and severed as a Greek hero (Palikari) would do it. He describes his own father as a Palikari.
“Don’t look at me, I’m only a breath of air beside him. I don’t come up to his ankles. When he shook your hand he nearly crushed your bones to pulp…my father roared, neighed and sang.
Zorba then describes how his powerful father would deal with severing something, how he would do the painful thing:
“Well, he had all the vices, but he’d slash them, as you would with a sword. For instance, he smoked like a chimney. One morning he got up and went into the fields to plough. He arrived, leaned on the hedge, pushed his hand into his belt for his tobacco-pouch to roll a cigarette before he began work, took out his pouch and found it was empty. He’d forgotten to fill it before leaving the house. He foamed with rage, let out a roar, and then bounded away towards the village. His passion for smoking completely unbalanced his reason, you see.
“But suddenly – I’ve always said I think man’s a mystery – he stopped, filled with shame, pulled out his pouch and tore it to shreds with his teeth, then stamped it in the ground and spat on it. “Filth! Filth!” he bellowed. “Dirty slut!” And from that hour, until the end of his days, he never put another cigarette between his lips.
“That’s the way real men behave, boss. Good night!”
I replace “man” with “warrior” and I am wholly inspired by Zorba’s reverence of the Palikari way. I like warriors. More and more these days.