Have One of Those Days? Some Poetic Perspective for You
One of the things that presents itself as a pattern in my one-on-one work with people is that no matter how successful we are, we all have those days. Those days (or even months) where we are going through the motions, feeling frustrated, reactive, plagued with self-doubt, unappreciated, and uninspired. The journey seems long and full of roadblocks, obstacles, and mishaps. We feel victimized by our circumstances and struggle to regain positive energy and perspective. While I can and have written practical “how-to” posts on getting out of a temporary “funk” and regaining perspective, I’d like to suggest that we try something different this time for a dose of inspiration.
I’d like to share with you a poem by Cavafy, a Greek poet.
Read it and pause for a moment, step out of the drama of your daily life, and regain the universal, mindful perspective the poem summons you to. (There is nothing like the language of poetry to help us do that).
As Cavafy reminds us– this road to Ithaka is the same journey we are all on —
I hope it causes you to regain perspective about the temporary ups and downs and daily dramas we all experience along the way…
Have a great week.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
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.
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.