We find ourselves racing forward, to ‘get past’ it. We reach for a destination and search for a future that doesn’t yet exist, all the while feeling travel sick as we’re constantly in motion – in body and soul.
But what happens when we arrive at that destination? When we get there what is left to learn and experience? Surely the beauty of life is in the journey itself, in all that we encounter, unfold and discover along the way…
– How would your life be different if you stopped to look around more, to stand still in the moment, to luxuriate in the now?
– How would you feel if you cared less about reaching the ‘destination’ and took more time to enjoy the journey?
One of my all-time favourite poems brings this to life so beautifully.
Ithaka, by CP Cavafy
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 harbours 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 marvellous 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.
I know how to live fast, it’s in my bones. I suspect you know too. Yet something different sits below that, deeper in my DNA – the need to move at a different pace, to live more slowly and enjoy the ride. Will you join me on that journey?
Take care for now, Laura x
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