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Rated: 13+ · Essay · Contest Entry · #2206986
Entry for Why? Why Not? Contest.
The Thunderbolt

Prompt: Why or why not is love at first sight best left to romance writers?

A great Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, was the author (amongst many other fine works) of the book, Zorba the Greek, which was eventually turned into the British black-and-white movie of the same name. It is the story of a young English school teacher who inherits a mine on a Greek island and travels to see the windfall so unexpectedly bequeathed to him by fate. On the way, he meets a man, the Zorba of the title, who attaches himself as a guide to the impressionable young man. As the tale proceeds, Zorba becomes mentor, tutor and exponent of all things Greek to the Englishman.

The reason I speak first of this tale is that it contains within it an example of love at first sight or, as the Greeks call it, “The Thunderbolt.” If the Greeks know it well enough to have given it a nickname, we can be in no doubt that the thing exists. Watch the movie and Zorba (Anthony Quinn in his greatest role) will convince you of the infallibility of Greek wisdom.

I could have dispensed with all this if I had just admitted that I have some experience of the phenomenon myself. It seemed appropriate since, seeing the movie in my early teen years, I had some advance warning of what was to happen in the next few years. Without having seen Zorba, I might have made an even bigger fool of myself than I did in the event.

Three times I was struck by the Thunderbolt in my youth. Each time was immediate, all powerful and devastating. They were all experiences that I regard as pivotal and important points in my life. For a while, they consumed me with a passion that felt infinite in extent, power and longevity. There is nothing as extreme as the feelings that assail one in the grip of the Thunderbolt and everyone should experience it at least once.

There is the problem of its longevity, however. It doesn’t last. I came close once but never married any of the ladies in question. Love is not blind and, unfortunately, even someone in the grip of the Thunderbolt can see what he’s getting into. The plain fact is that you have to like the person as well as being smitten by them. Sooner or later, common sense wins and the world returns to normal.

So the “Why?” of this essay is that such a glorious and shattering experience should not be missed. Life is enhanced, exploded, deepened by love at first sight. It may be the most expressive and perspective-giving event in any young life. But it is for the young only. A lifetime lived together requires so much more than mere passion. The “Why not?” is all about the short, incandescent nature of the Thunderbolt. It can only ever be the seed of countless romance novels or, more sadly, innumerable divorces. Much more important is friendship.

In conclusion, I suggest you read the poem, Young Love, by Nordic Noir, a member of WdC. Here’s the link: "Young Love. She says it so much better than me.


Word Count: 518
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