In Memory of Janice Fixter A transformation after Constantine Cavafy
As you set out for Ithaka
pray that your journey is long,
rich with discovery, prodigious with learning.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops and fierce Poseidon, do not fear them
for you will not encounter them
so long as a fine emotion feeds your soul.
You will not see them,
unless they are already curled up inside you, waiting to break out.
And pray that your journey is long.
May there be many a summer morning
when you sail into harbours for the first time, under an arching sky.
And may you stop at many Phoenician ports
to buy all kinds of merchandise: mother of pearl, coral, amber, ebony,
sensual perfumes, as aromatic as you can find.
And may you visit many Babylonian towns to cull the wisdom of poets,
erudition of scholars.
Always keep Ithaka in mind, but never quicken the journey. May it last for years, so that when you,
finally, arriveyou are at peace with yourself.And if the island seems barren and bare, do not be deceived.Never forget, it was Ithaka who gave you the journey.Without her, you would not have set out.Now, she has nothing more to confer.