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When the storm is over

After last Thursdays’ storm, many people in the Netherlands and elsewhere lost much.
The famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis describes in “Report to El Greco” such an event and the life lesson he then got .

“Everything is lost”

“Everything is lost”

Everything gets lost every day
We, however, do not get lost

…. I had reached the road, yet could not cross it, for it had turned into a river and I stood and watched: together with the water the bunches of half-dried grapes floated embracing each other, the product of a whole years’ efforts, disappearing towards the sea and getting lost forever. The grief worsened, some of the women had thrown themselves knee-deep in the water and fought to save some raisins, while others, standing at the side of the road, had torn of their head kerchiefs while lamenting loudly.

I was soaked to the bone, went up to our little house and tried to hide my joy, hurrying to see what my father would do, would he cry, would he curse, would he shout? When I passed the place where we dried the grapes, I saw not a single raisin was left.
I saw him standing on the doorstep of our house, immovable, biting the points of his moustache.
Behind him, standing, was my crying mother.

– “Father”, I shouted, “all our raisins are lost”!
– “We are not lost”, he answered, “now hush”!
I have never forgotten that moment, I dare say it became an important lesson for the difficult moments in my life, I remembered my father silent, immovable, standing on the doorstep of our house, neither cursing, nor begging, unstirred watching the complete disaster and saved, he alone amongst all our neighbours, the dignity of humanity.

Nikos Kazantzakis, “Report to El Greco”
Translation: LatoCultuurCentrum


Het Griekse CultuurCentrum van Amsterdam
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