Monday, July 11, 2011
A few years ago, I became enamored with a book written by Nikos Kazantzakis. In its original Greek text it was known as, "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALEXIS ZORBA". But, when it was translated into English, it became known as simply, "ZORBA THE GREEK". In about 1964 it was made into a movie by the same name which starred Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates.
When I was partially through reading the book for the second or third time, I came to the realization that, "ZORBA THE GREEK", was not just a work of fiction - it was also a book of philosophy. I should have realized this from the beginning, as Nikos Kazantzakis was also a great philosopher in addition to being a great writer.
At any rate, I have a question that I would like to pose to those of you who follow and read my blog. It is not a trick question...and it probably has no "right" or "wrong" answer. But I am seriously interested in what your response will be to my question.
At one point in the book, Zorba comes upon an old man who is planting an almond tree. Astonished, Zorba exclaims, "What? Grandpa! Planting an almond tree at your age?" Zorba was inferring that at the old man's age, he would never live to see the tree produce a single almond. The old man looked up at Zorba and replied, "My son, I live every day as if I shall never die." To which Zorba responded, "Hah! I live every day as if I shall die any minute!" I think the philosophical question raised is this: Which of them was right? The old man for saying that he lived every day as if he would never die? Or Zorba, for saying that he lived every day as if he would die any moment?
As I said earlier, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer. Please leave your answer, response or comment below by clicking the word that reads, "Comments", below. After several of you have left your answers (or comments), I will post my answer to the same question in the "Comments" section below. I do value your answers and comments! Thanks in advance for participating in this little survey.
Your Friend and Fellow "Silent Warrior",
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Many of us take along needless items when we travel which usually results in over-packing. With the additional costs levied against those whose baggage weight exceeds the limits established by the airline, this can be a costly move. Just three pounds over the 50 pound limit could have resulted in an additional $400+ fee being added to my travel expenses. So, over the years I have managed to trim my needs to a bare minimum, which is no easy task in view of the fact that I must take enough provisions to last me for an entire three month period of time. However, there is one item that so far I have not been able to shed or leave behind - jet lag! Yes....JET LAG! I have attempted many diverse remedies in what appears thus far to be a futile drive to eliminate jet lag. At the recommendation of others I have eaten only a light meal before taking off, and at the insistance of other travel "experts", I have eaten a very large meal prior to take off...so large in fact that I was fearful I might be charged additional fees for the added weight. Neither of these worked. I was told that two or three (or four+) stiff drinks before takeoff would eliminate jet lag, but I was afraid that it might eliminate my trip altogether - plus, I might board the wrong aircraft and end up in a third-world country like Bangladesh or North Dakota. Others have told me that taking a sleeping pill after the aircraft has taken off would work wonders, but I was concerned that in the event of a complete aircraft failure, I might just sleep through the whole damn thing and miss all of the excitement! Another told me that going to the rear of the aircraft and doing leg squats and knee bends would aid in preventing jet lag. But after doing this, the airline attendents begin whispering and pointing in my direction while making notes in a small black book. So this year, in an act of desperation, I did the following: I ate a very small meal before departing Nashville, and after arriving in Newark, New Jersey, I ate a very large meal. Then after boarding the plane, I immediately went to the lavatory and purged myself (that is "polite" talk for self-induced vomiting). After returning to my seat I popped a sleeping pill followed by the 3 or 4 stiff drinks previously mentioned. Then while I was still barely able to stagger, I removed myself to the rear of the aircraft where I proceeded to do the knee lifts and leg bends, just before collapsing into a twisted wreckage of human limbs and body parts. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the Athens airport. Now I know what you are about to ask: Did it cure my jet lag? Are you crazy?! Why, Hell no it didn't cure my jet lag, but it sure took my mind off it!!!
If any of you should have any suggestions for eliminating jet lag...please keep them to yourself!
Take care, stay well, and let me hear from you.
Your Friend and Fellow "Silent Warrior",