Categories Uncategorized

The trip to Ithaka

I our lives we learn to set goals. Set up bright beacons ahead of us so that we can follow in the dark sea. I wish it wasn’t so easy to be blinded by that beacons and consider that they are all we have. One must remember that the beacon is only there to make a path for him to walk. It is the path that matters after all and not the beacon. The beacon might not be there after all, or be different than when you started. And it will be different because you will have changed.

It is written in many books as in the “Lord of the Rings”. The feelings of Frodo when he returns to the Shire. He will never be able to enjoy what was the goal of his journey. The goal set him on movement and that was the gain. The goal has nothing more to give. But the most brilliant expression of this, is the poem “Ithaka” by C. Cavafy. Here is a translation from Greek :

“Ithaka” by C. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope that your journey 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 sensation
touches 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 that your journey is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings 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 learn and learn again from those who know.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so that 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.

About the author