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15 September 2010

Greek poetry, new horizons, and the Blue Peter

Today, I am cleaning out my AF office for the last time, and heading tomorrow to Europe (Paris and Monaco with my niece Cassady, then Sintra, Lisbon and Porto in Portugal with Cindy, Jackie and Joan).
When I return to the States on the 11th of October, JP and Susan and Raconteur will, if all goes well, be somewhere south of the Chesapeake, and I will join them whereever "there" turns out to be. We will meander down the ICW, looking for warm weather, planning to arrive in Lauderdale in early/mid December. We will be there for a few weeks, then start looking for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas. Next scheduled event: Cassady and Adam's wedding in Ohio, September 3 2011!
Courtesy of Jean-Philippe, this poem has been hanging over my desk at the AF for several years; it seems an appropriate re-start to the blog.

Ithaka (1911)
As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of of them:
you'll never find things like that one 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, 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 your road is long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenciian trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts 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 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'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean
Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933)