“Ithaka”, a beautiful poem by Constantine P. 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 such pleasure, such 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 Ithaka means.

 

Translated by Edmund Keeley, some parts reinterpreted by Gabriel Surija

Little Truth of Hesitation

As a human being, we consider some things as right while other things as wrong. But what does being right truly mean? How do we know if we are right or wrong?

Hesitation is partly affected by the social construct and the environment around us. Imagine a position where you’re in Mars alone, the form of hesitation will be completely different from the form of hesitation when you’re living in big cities, different from those living in rural areas.

There are two kinds of hesitations; the intent hesitation and the taste hesitation.

There are two intentions affecting a human’s decision. One is from the body, prioritizing one’s survival. The other is from the spirit, prioritizing one’s selfless love.

Our feelings and thoughts are the byproduct of these roots, yet we are complex enough to shuffle in both survival and spiritual intent into our decisions. This creates hesitations.

When we are thinking of just survival or just selfless love, the actions we take are really straightforward and honest. There’s never too much hesitation in “I really need to go to the toilet” or “My best friend is hospitalized, I have to visit him”.

But there are occasions where we are trapped in between trying to survive and trying to sacrifice for others. Such as “I don’t need a full time job, but I need to prepare myself to support a family.”

“I really need this monthly bonus to repair my microwave, but this mother and her child haven’t eaten for 3 days.”

This creates hesitation, because one intention is just thinking of one’s own needs, the other intention is thinking of other people’s.

The second is the taste hesitation. It’s the hesitation that comes from our own preferences and tastes, that may or may not link to our survival and spiritual hesitations.

“Is black shirt better than grey shirt?”

“How much sugar should I pour into the tea?”

“Should I eat banana or avocado?”

Everyone can answer differently because everyone has their own preference and taste. There hardly is any right or wrong in this case, unless you have health conditions that will then link to your survival intent.

However you choose between things, hesitations are gonna be a part of choosing. When you’ve chosen things, hesitations are still gonna be a part of sticking with your choices or choosing another.

If there are things that you wish to prioritize, write them down. It helps to reduce your hesitation.

And whenever we can choose between survival and spiritual, by theory it would be the best to always choose the spiritual. But at that very moment of choosing, we may think differently because we’re just human beings.

Despite all that, whatever you choose to do, do it thoroughly.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

– Confucius

 

Prompt: Hesitate