Coming back to Chia in 2015

Being absent for longer than 25 years, coming back to Chía seems similar to the story told by Constantino Kavafis on Ulise’s travel back to Ithaca. Our travel was full of adventures and experiences, and together with the Flaca and with the boys, we were not afraid neither of Laistrygonians nor of Cyclops or of Poseidon. It was a long trip full of seasons that took us to languages, ports, people, organisations, politics, research, stories, forests and gardens that we had never seen.

We went to many other cities and towns in Europe, Africa and Asia and we learned some of their languages and of their magic. Our Colombian Chía gave us the possibility for this powerful trip, and now, when we are back we see it differently. In the blog I will share how I see the present Chia and I will try to tell about the meanings of the several Chias that we discovered along our trip, their arts and their non-sense. All of them and what we learned will stay ‘hung’ in the Orange Tree.

Ulises sails back to Ithaka tied to the mainmast

Ulises sails back to Ithaka tied to the mainmast

Ithaca / C. Kavafis

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.
Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard
(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)


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