You are hereGeorge Soter Memoirs (1)
George Soter Memoirs (1)
When you set out for Ithaka
pray that your road's a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery, Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon--don't be scared of them: you won't find things like that on your way as long as your thoughts are exalted,
as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon--you won't encounter them unless you bring them along inside you, unless your soul raises them up in front of you.
Pray that the road's a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when-- full of gratitude, full of joy-- you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading centers
and buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfumes of every kind,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
may you visit numerous Egyptian cities
to fill yourself with learning from the wise.
Keep Ithaka always in mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it goes on for years
so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She hasn't anything else to give.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you'll have become, and so experienced,
you'll have Understood by then what an Ithaka means.
"Ithaka," C. P. Cavafy (trans. Keeley & Sherrard)