As you set out for Ithaka

Last week I stumbled onto a quote, “As you set out for Ithaca, hope the voyage is a long one.” It sounded familiar, so I googled it. It actually comes from Ithaka, a poem by a Greek poet, C. P. Cavafy. One I don’t remind reading before but I wouldnt be surprised if at one moment my father had  sent it to me at one moment, it’s the kind of poem he’d like and he’d know I like, sowho knows…

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.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992) (original version here)


Fear, action and confidence. 

I wasn’t going to post anything about Carrie Fisher‘s death because -plainly said- it sucks, and I didn’t know how else to put it. But as I was browsing Twitter, I found the top pic with that quote. 

One of the best advices I got when starting my job a year and a half ago was to put myself in danger everyday, to do something that scares me and challenges me to keep learning (and I’ve never been more scared than during those first weeks at the job, so it was an easy task to do). Fear is the mind-killer, and it ends up leading to the Dark Side. Fear is not worth us being afraid. We conquer it when we acknowledge it but act anyway. And this quote seems a good way to Carrie Fisher by. 

RIP, your Highness. And may the Force be with you.