Students of chemistry like to say that distilling is beautiful.
It is a slow and silent occupation, which keeps you
busy but gives you time to think about other things.
It involves a metamorphosis from flowing liquid to invisible vapor,
and from this once again to liquid, but in this
double journey, up and down, purity is attained, an ambiguous
and fascinating condition, which starts with chemistry and goes far.
When you set about distilling, you acquire the consciousness of
repeating a ritual consecrated by the centuries, almost a religious
act, in which from imperfect material you obtain the spirit.
Paraphrases from The Periodic Table by Primo Levi.