Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hope the Voyage is a Long One




Ithaka

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.



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


Hope the Voyage is a Long One




Ithaka

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.



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


Friday, July 20, 2012

Fast and Furious

Honda Scoopy
I have to ride my scooter to the clinic from my house. The road is busy with scooters, cars and trucks and it is not a pleasant walk. I could make my way through the rice fields but I want to get to the clinic in the morning without muddy feet and a wet skirt, so I decided to rent a scooter.

I've been driving a car since I was sixteen and I am confident driving anything with four or more wheels. But this was a new experience! The balance is different - with a car you just sit there. On a scooter you are balanced on two wheels. You feel more vulnerable on the road too - even though the drivers in Bali are the most courteous I've seen.

But I get on my bike in the morning and I think about the women I will be caring for, some of whom travel for an hour or two on the back of a scooter to come to the clinic in labor. I think about the young mothers who are starting the journey towards motherhood for the first time, or the ones who had their first baby by cesarean section, or the ones who lost a child. I imagine the fears they are facing when they come to the clinic to give birth, and I think about the risks inherent in just being alive in a small village here.

And I think to myself - ride your bike...keep your head held high and don't be afraid, even when a large truck full of pigs or bamboo posts passes you too close on that narrow road. I know its a small hurdle compared to the daily hurdles that the women I attend jump over, but it has helped me to put things in perspective.

Can't you see me on a Harley???

Fast and Furious

Honda Scoopy
I have to ride my scooter to the clinic from my house. The road is busy with scooters, cars and trucks and it is not a pleasant walk. I could make my way through the rice fields but I want to get to the clinic in the morning without muddy feet and a wet skirt, so I decided to rent a scooter.

I've been driving a car since I was sixteen and I am confident driving anything with four or more wheels. But this was a new experience! The balance is different - with a car you just sit there. On a scooter you are balanced on two wheels. You feel more vulnerable on the road too - even though the drivers in Bali are the most courteous I've seen.

But I get on my bike in the morning and I think about the women I will be caring for, some of whom travel for an hour or two on the back of a scooter to come to the clinic in labor. I think about the young mothers who are starting the journey towards motherhood for the first time, or the ones who had their first baby by cesarean section, or the ones who lost a child. I imagine the fears they are facing when they come to the clinic to give birth, and I think about the risks inherent in just being alive in a small village here.

And I think to myself - ride your bike...keep your head held high and don't be afraid, even when a large truck full of pigs or bamboo posts passes you too close on that narrow road. I know its a small hurdle compared to the daily hurdles that the women I attend jump over, but it has helped me to put things in perspective.

Can't you see me on a Harley???

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Birth

Women all over the world give birth in exactly the same way. They make the same noise when they reach the pushing phase; they move the same way; they touch their newborns gently and hesitantly during the few minutes after birth.
Midwives are the same everywhere too. They catch sleep when they can, love attending births, like the smells and sounds of the birthing room. We are happy when we see poo!
Gratitude and respect to all the women who are birthing today, all to all of their attendants. May it be a day of peace and joy.

Birth

Women all over the world give birth in exactly the same way. They make the same noise when they reach the pushing phase; they move the same way; they touch their newborns gently and hesitantly during the few minutes after birth.
Midwives are the same everywhere too. They catch sleep when they can, love attending births, like the smells and sounds of the birthing room. We are happy when we see poo!
Gratitude and respect to all the women who are birthing today, and to all of their attendants. May it be a day of peace and joy.

Birth

Women all over the world give birth in exactly the same way. They make the same noise when they reach the pushing phase; they move the same way; they touch their newborns gently and hesitantly during the few minutes after birth.
Midwives are the same everywhere too. They catch sleep when they can, love attending births, like the smells and sounds of the birthing room. We are happy when we see poo!
Gratitude and respect to all the women who are birthing today, and to all of their attendants. May it be a day of peace and joy.