Javier Ortíz explains “The journey to Lórien”

Once more Javier Ortiz tells us about Lórien, in its Jamaican version:

The journey to Jamaica

Those who regularly follow this diary already know what is what I refer as Jamaica: the same that our dear Cavafy, and Lluís Llach after him, called Ithaca. An idyllic setting in which we locate peace, solidarity, love, good faith …

Our dreams, in short. The Not-Here.

Some days ago, in a moment of bitterness, I insisted that my Jamaica does not exist. What a news! I forgot –or rather, I did not want to remember– that this actually is its great virtue. If it existed, it could not be perfect.

Jamaica is not an island with idyllic beaches where we lie down to rest from our wars. Jamaica is the watchword for the fight. Jamaica is a flag for those of us who do not hoist any particular flag because we have too many of them.

In Cavafy’s poem, Ithaca is not important at all. All really existing Ithacas really –all really existing Jamaicas– are doomed to disappoint us. The important thing is not the destination. What really matters is the journey.

The journey is important because it tests us, because it challenges us not to lose our determination nor change our course, because it forces us to disregard the sirens’ calls, because it prevents us from wandering aimlessly through life.

But there is something in the journey which is even more decisive: the companionship. The people who accompanies us on the journey. Men and women who, animated by the same will and the same dream, walk beside us, giving themselves’ all in the fight for the impossible.

These days, which have been somewhat bitter for me, have again demonstrated it. They, the companions, are the best. And how they are. And how much they are.

Some of you could have understood that, exhausted after so much struggling, I was about to abandom ship, renouncing the journey.

Así que me dejo de tonterías, y a seguir remando. Contra la corriente, que es lo nuestro.

Never. I can not imagine anything better than being a member of the crew of this ship, which rows to Ithaca and dreams of Jamaica.

So let’s stop the chatter and continue paddling, as usual, against the tide.

(El viaje a Jamaica. Apuntes del Natural. 14 de julio de 2001)

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