When I first read this poem by C.F. Cavafy, many years ago, I felt he had written it for me. I was deeply moved. Life, it’s about adventure, journeys, meeting new worlds and facing amazing challenges before arriving at journeys end. I love it as much now as I did all those years ago. For me, it’s all about the journey and loving life. Whether you explore your neighborhood or the Moon, just put one foot in front of the other and enjoy it all. Maybe your journey is through Art, or climbing mountains, writing poetry, playing golf or learning a new skill like riding a bike. Maybe, like me, it’s cooking and writing and sharing my journey with friends around the world. Last year my journey landed me in the tiny Hamlet of Altenburg, Bavaria, Germany and I am writing to you from my dining room table looking out the picture window at the pasture and the cows. Journey on!
As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.”
My hope is that you will come along with me for as long as you like on this marvelous journey called “life.”
Dena Kotka says
Love this 🙂