“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink life to the lees.” –Ulysses, Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson
At our final Mythical Happy Hour last night Randy discussed the Hero’s Journey. While he will doubtless post more about this topic, I close our blog on this note. That the archetype of the hero is bound to the journey. That we are all heroes, bound to our own journeys and that this passage will never and should never end.
When we began our voyage, we opened with a poem titled Ithaca, that counsels, “When you set out on the road to Ithaca, then pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge…do not hurry the voyage at all, it is better to let it last long years, anchoring in the isle when you are old, rich with all you have gained along the way, never expecting Ithaca would bring you riches.” Each of you has made your own journey and textured it with flavors, sensations, emotions, discoveries. Each of you has lived inside the moment of every day on this journey together, making it both a memory and a future, for it is in this cycle that new journeys are born.
We close with excerpts from Tennyson’s poem Ulysses below, echoing the Hero’s cycle, doubtless echoing your own stirrings that will begin, if they have not already, shortly after your return. I hope to share in your journey again soon!
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.