The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Why is my motorcycle named Odysseus?

Perhaps you remember The Odyssey by Homer.  In that epic poem, Odysseus (Ulysses), encountered marvelous adventures as he traveled to Ithaca after the Trojan War.

My voyage will surely be more tame than his, but in my own way I am seeking Ithaca too. 

There is a marvelous poem written a century ago which outlines the quest for Ithaca. Those of us who love to travel the world can find inspiration in it.  Here is a brief summary of that poem, changed into my own words:

Konstantine P. Cavafy

When you start on your journey to Ithaca
pray that the road is long, full of adventure,
full of knowledge.
Do not fear for monsters or tribulations.
You will never meet such things if your thoughts remain lofty,
if a fine emotion touches your body and spirit.

Pray that your summer mornings are many,
that you enter ports seen for the first time with pleasure and joy.
Stop at exotic markets, gaze at fine merchandise,
visit hosts of cities, and learn from those who have knowledge.

Do not hurry the voyage at all. 
It is better to let it last for long years,
and when you are anchored finally to the isle of great age,
you will be rich with all that you have gained on the way.

Ithaca will give you a beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have taken the road.
And at at the end of your travels,
with the great wisdom you have gained,
with so much experience,
you will surely understand by then what Ithaca means.

Click on the link below to hear Sean Connery reading the original poem.


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