Ithaka

A new year’s meditation. It’s one that I’ve shared before, but one that I think is well worth sharing again.

Happy New Year!

Ithaka
by C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933)
translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard

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 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, 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 a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing 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 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.

First version probably written January 1894. Final version written October 1910, and published November 1911. This translation: C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems, Princeton University Press


Happy Thanksgiving

Blessings of the day!

Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Very best wishes to you and yours.


Ithaka

I read this poem at a New Year’s service at the First Unitarian Church in Oklahoma City in the early 1980s. I’ve always thought it made a good New Year’s meditation, and have shared it here before. I thought it appropriate to share again at the beginning of 2015 as I move ahead to the next phase of my career journey.

Happy New Year!

Ithaka
by C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933)
translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard

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 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, 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 a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing 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 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.

First version probably written January 1894. Final version written October 1910, and published November 1911. This translation: C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems, Princeton University Press


Happy New Year!

All the best in 2015


holiday wishes

This showed up on Facebook a while back courtesy of my friend Annalee. I thought it appropriate today with the beginning of Hanukkah.

The original had some text at the bottom which I think detracted from the message. The diagram delivers the complete message on its own.

Click on the image for the full-size version.

And scroll down beneath the diagram for Peter, Paul and Mary’s marvelous “Light One Candle.”

HolidayWishes


Sacred Music Friday: Come, Ye Thankful People

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Come, Ye Thankful People


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!


winter light

One of the floor lamps in my office gave out last week. The threads that connected the pole to the base had completely deteriorated, and that was that. I retrieved a three-bulb floor lamp that lampstandI had relegated to the second bedroom some years ago for reasons I no longer recall. The light bulbs in it were some old 60-watt incandescent 5-year bulbs that probably date back to our years in Mountain View. When I turned it on I immediately had a sinking feeling and remembered why I so much appreciate my full-spectrum light bulbs.

I don’t know whether I actually have diagnosable seasonal affective disorder, but I do know that I would become down and blue this time of year. A counselor I was seeing told me about full-three-bulblampspectrum bulbs (I think the more common label these days is “daylight”), and I installed those in the dining area, in our bedroom, and in my loft office. Since then, I have had only the briefest moments of that down feeling in the winter.

I immediately replaced the old 60-watts with daylight compact fluorescent bulbs and all was once again well.

It was good to be reminded about how much that technology means to me. It is not something I want to take for granted.