Thursday, April 14, 2011



When 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 on 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 these Ithacas mean.

              ~Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

This favorite poem of mine has recently been on my mind.  I love this poem!  There were several things I wanted to write about concerning this allegory about life.  I have wondered how it reads in its original Greek language. 

I have been short on time getting ready for our move.  I do have to add this closing note that fits the theme of this poem:

... if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard.  Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.

                                ~ Dorothy


Clint said...

I recently finished the book, "The Alchemist". It is a beautifully penned work, translated from the Portugese. Like this wonderful verse, that book describes the journey of a pilgrim who finds that all he ever desired was right beneath his own feet at home.

Shady Del Knight said...

This is such a beautiful piece, Cindy, and Sean Connery's reading of it seals the deal. These words of wisdom can be applied to many situations. They should be shared with any child who impatiently asks "are we there yet?" on a car trip; with any child who's determined to grow up too fast; with any adult who wishes that life would be simpler and easier with fewer challenges. Traveling from point A to point B on a straight, flat superhighway is fast, easy and direct, but taking the longer, slower scenic route with hills and curves is so much more fun and interesting. Wherever you are right now is ground zero - the rockin' rollin' center of the universe. Now is the time and this is the place. As Ruby Gissing stated in Ruby in Paradise, "Hell is when all your dreams come true." Stay a little hungry. Keep stretching. The journey's where it's at. Thank you for the gift of this post, Cindy!

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Beautiful Cindy! The photo and the writing are lovely. Thanks so much for sharing. I have a copy of the "Alchemist" I better read it.

Cindy Ellison said...

Shady and Karen, thank you so much for your thoughts and comments. I am having trouble leaving responses to your comments ... have lost both responses.

Not sure that this will even show, I will try again later.

Cindy Ellison said...

Thank you again, Shady and Karen. Don't know what was going on this morning, I lost two responses on here when I tried to post them.

Shady, beautifully said and oh so true. We sure do need to be mindful to experience the present. Yes, "now is the time and this is the place". It is so easy to remain in our ruts. One little instance that comes to mind is hair styles, I know that might sound trivial but I am working at making sure I don't have what I call, "aging hippie hair". :~D It was a little 'scary' recently when I had my hair cut in a totally different way. Clint, after having short hair for years, is now letting his hair grow long. It is so unsettling to many people in his life, "they" want him to remain the same. "Stretching" is a good word you used, we should all continue to stretch. I will have to see Ruby in Paradise when I settle down. Good observations, Shady, thank you.

Karen, your comments were sweet, thank you. I will have to read, "The Alchemist", my mother-in-law gave us a copy for Christmas. Have a wonderful weekend and make some good pictures!

Belle said...

Wow such a beautiful poem. Reminds me of journeys that touched my heart. And of things that i yearn yet overlooked. Just have to open my eyes more and appreciate all that i have. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece Cindy. :-)