We have sad news to report today. Another of the small gods of Crete, our friend Nikos Zacharioudakis lost his valiant battle with the coronavirus. A true Cretan, a man devoted to preserving traditions thousands of years old, Nikos was, in a word, unforgettable.
“Rhythm and harmony enter most powerfully into the innermost part of the soul and lay forcible hands upon it, bearing grace with them, so making graceful him who is rightly trained.” – Plato
The first time I met Nikos, I was completely taken by his sparkling personality. Cretans are notorious for their friendliness and love of strangers, but this friend’s spirit was clearly attached to the ancient people and artifacts he was so enamored with. We met at a performance and feast at Minoan Theater because of our mutual friends Anna and Evangelos. A fascinating encyclopedia of ancient history and music, Nikos’s real gift was his loving creation of ancient musical instruments. Some of his works are proudly displayed as replicas in museums.
Each time we talked, I learned something new about the fabulously rich traditions of this wonderful island. One conversation we had, about carrying on the music made with these unique and rare instruments, makes me sad we never had to expand upon Nikos’ ideas and plans. We were going to travel into the mountains together. And he was delighted to offer to privilege me with the secrets of the Cretans few ever experience. He took and I took great delight in the prospects, of sharing a mutual interest in the deep spiritual treasures Crete has within her.
The coronavirus separated all of our networks here on Crete, much has been postponed and this plague has ultimately ended our journey together with friends like Nikos, at least in this realm. Today, the Network of Associations of Messara, everyone at Minoan Theater, the member of the Minoan Civilization and Scripts (Μινωικός Πολιτισμός και Γραφές) organization he co-founded, and other organizations Nikos and his wife Irene were associated with, are morning the loss of this charitable, kind, and brilliant man.
All our hearts go out to Irene, the family, and the many friends of this extraordinary friend. His skillful hands now shape
“And tears are heard within the harp I touch.” – Petrarch
I’ll miss you friend until we meet again.