It's taking us longer to get to the Island of America -- the place where America is America -- than we'd imagined. We're 230+ years into the journey, and we seem to have doubled back and wandered into a wilderness that feels far, far away from our destinaton. Cavafy's wonderful poem, Ithika, reminds us why that's ok.
We have to come already rich to Ithika, not come to Ithika expecting it to make us rich. Ithika, as Cavafy explains, gave us the journey, just as the idea of America is giving us our journey.
I like Cavafy's poem because it makes a point that I've been thinking about quite a bit and that I will be blogging about more in the coming days -- we can't just sit and expect America to come to us or expect to hold onto all the progress that we have made towards America. We can't watch tv every weekend and expect our democracy to flourish, expect our ship to keep sailing towards Ithika. Grab an oar.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."