“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Feeling vulnerable today…… Vulnerable and restless.
What do I really want? What do you really want?
It’s summer. The city feels empty, the office feels quite empty, the gym is empty,… so much people left on holiday. In Nice a guy with a truck just killed 84 people and wounded more then 200… I want to paint and draw but my head is empty and I feel lost. Don’t want to go to the office either. I feel a lot of resistance in myself and sit here doing nothing. Just reading a bit and cleaning the house. Everything and everybody works on my nerves.
I am full of questions about myself and about my work and about my art and this blog… But “just do what you want! You only live once! Be yourself!” ??? All this is very easy to say, but what do I really want?
The more options are open, the more we seem to doubt if we are really living the life we want. And new options open every day, in this ever changing world. So I do my best to enjoy this life as a journey, for the journey itself. Living in the moment, this moment, and not wondering too much about a maybe future. If you don’t find the truth where you are, where do you think you will find it? (who said that again?)
Do you know the poem ‘Ithaka’, by C.P. Cavafy ? The ‘Ithaka’ in the poem is not the Greek Island or a city or a country. The Ithakas are the stories and poems in which you recognize and cherish your life experiences. Ithaka is the music with which you share your pains and joys. The Ithakas are the languages you speak, the countries you visited, the friends you met. The Ithakas are your values and your ideals you chase. Ithaka is the memory you carefully protect and the dead with who you still speak sometimes. Ithaka is the loved one who, in spite of everything, cherishes you still. Ithaka is what inspires you.
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.
Love and take care,
It’s been a pensive few days for me as well, as always after one of these human horrors. Your post is juicy stuff. And it makes me think of Pema Chodron — whose Ithaka seems to be vulnerability, the vulnerability of existence — both her journey and her destination. Like most humans, though, I’d really prefer to ignore it. Hmph.
Thank you very much Kristy!
Most of the time I indeed prefer to ignore it too, because once I dive in there I get easyly lost on my way……… and it’s so tiring…
I’m going to dive into Pema Chodron. Thank you for the tip!