Ithaca

Ithaca

As you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)s.

**

I must always to remember my search for Ithaca. How easy it is to forget her, to be sidetracked by the societal norms, to want what everybody else perceives they want based on the story we have been sold by our parents, our friends, the Church, the Media, our teachers etc. But in my heart, I know that Ithaca awaits me, if only I follow the road I know within my heart. I suppose it comes down to me trusting myself, believing in my own path without the need for someone to tell me that I’ve chosen the ‘right’ path. The right path is the one I chose. How easy it is to bury our dreams, to hide behind our perceived limitations – be they time, money, spouse, children, bills, or whatever. The list of things we hide behind is endless. But in the end, what we hide behind are only excuses for not pursuing our dreams. We watched ourselves grow old, each day slipping into another, until all the days begin to blend together and we can no longer tell one from the other. And we think, someday I will go in search of Ithaca.

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