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My View from Main Street USA

Everyone is battling something - death of a loved one, a difficult relationship, a broken friendship. Our family’s journey is like anyone else’s filled with challenges but similar in that we love a lot, cry sometimes, argue and grow stronger. We don’t know when we take our first steps on a journey how it will shape us or what the outcome will be. But we risk, we love, and we fail. And we get up and try again.

When I was a child I had a false sense that somewhere out there relationships were perfect. That love had no battles that discomfort was a sign that I was in the wrong place. I missed many joys and opportunities because I left the battle too early. Today I know if we don’t take the first steps and we don’t suffer some we won’t experience the joys, the hugs and the smiles. We fight for each other because we love each other. We have good days and bad days. We are family and I wouldn’t change anything.

I leave you with another of my favorite poems - Ithaka

BY C. P. CAVAFY

TRANSLATED BY EDMUND KEELEY

As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians, 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, 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 your road is a long one.

May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbors you’re seeing 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 learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you’re destined for.

But don’t hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you’re old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.

Without her you wouldn’t 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’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

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