Modern “Odysseys”

Like another modern Odyssey, in which masses of human bodies are constantly moving in all possible directions, the adventure of Odysseus seems more present than ever.

The chronicle of the Odyssey is one of those stories that repeat over and over again, perhaps more often than any other story. The story of Odyssey is one of those wonderful linguistic metaphors that fit almost automatically and at the same time so unexpectedly into every conversation, activating parallel associations and chain thoughts. Ulysses’ long journey can be interpreted in many ways; in fact, it will be often interpreted as an adventure, as suffering, risk or a heroic event. These interpretations reflect many of today’s situations. The story of Odyssey could also be a modern metaphor for the constant movement – especially of the young – towards other, different worlds.

The idea of ​​this movement, or simply immigration, isn’t, of course, unprecedented. On the contrary, it is an idea, which traces it’s roots almost to the beginning of the human species, but becomes more present after the discovery of the concept of society or community. From then on, the movement of large or small groups of people has been a constant phenomenon, each time for different reasons – but ultimately not so different (since they would repeat for many years until today). Today, the story of travel is repeated and people are able to generate emotions and ideas in their own way, each one with his own concept on what’s a “journey”. In any case, in the end, almost everything ends up with the question of the visual, meaning the way in which we receive, process, perceive and interpret every new information.

So, I find myself in the middle of this movement too, having the same posture as the wonderful Colossus of Rhodes – one foot there, the other foot here. Of course, Colossus adorning the entrance of the port was – in theory at least – in the same place at the same time. But let’s go back to the reality of this movement though; I feel that something magical and at the same time quite contradictory is taking place when one departs from its roots. There are those intense, internal processes (thoughts and ideas) that have nothing else to do, but magically ripen, since far away from the roots, they have nothing else but to realise themselves. To grow enough in order to return to the root with new seeds – if the root allows it of course. This root can be called Ithaca, but if we prefer the name of the myths, then it would be the myth of Ulysses.

One has the feeling that those small people who were about to move will not only move, but also activate their consciousness to the rock bottom. To the edge. And yet, this process of moving is more like an anesthetic injection, which looks after “getting you drunk” for a few minutes, and when the dizziness gradually subsides, then awareness will return to you; and then this phase could be also called “knowledge” and “understanding” in every depth. That’s the risk of the adventure. These decisions impose drunkenness precisely because of their difficulty. If you look at all the aspects of an image – if that’s ever possible – before you give up something, you might quickly regret it. It looks dramatic, but it’s not at all. The dry description of reality and it’s events – of any reality or facts – is simply a description of reality and not a drama at all. It could be a drama if the observer would decide to activate this point of view – even the impulsivity would need a few seconds to be activated.

So those little modern “Odysseys” or the travel to “Ithaca” are repeated with great velocity again and again. By making the story more modern, the pattern repeats itself and it creates a story of the many who are wandering among us. Everyone has a story to tell – everyone has their own personal odyssey and “Odyssey” to tell; “Odysseys”, which travel not only in long distances but also short ones.

I think that I have no idea if it’s possible to forget that point of departure, meaning that point before the anesthetic injection; it’s one and the same point: the point of the root and the point of how to forget about the root. Even with two feet in the air in utter uncertainty and anticipation the root will echo that voice of confidence and familiarity. And although the journey of the “anthropocians” will always value – just for the journey and it’s various stops, Ithaca will remain the sweetest fruit, the most beloved scent, the most melancholic song to lead us to our own continuity and that “something more” we’re looking for – even without looking consciously for it.

22 thoughts on “Modern “Odysseys”

  1. These are the reasons for the journey of existential research that make this myth vital. The search essentially takes place in the inner and unconscious dimension.
    Rimbaud in his ‘Drunken boat’ proposes an evanescent metaphor of the journey as a fracture, a total departure from what is known … but above all as a loss of sensitivity, full abandonment to the tenuous oscillation of the waters, to the swaying, to the fluctuation … recalls an entirely original form of almost infantile purification.

    I like very much this:
    To grow enough in order to return to the root with new seeds – if the root allows it of course. This root can be called Ithaca, but if we prefer the name of the myths, then it would be the myth of Ulysses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marzia, thank you so much for contributing here with your comment 🙂 I will have to watch the video later today. But I have to say that the image of Rimbaud, which I have never seen before, is wonderful. Do you like Greek mythology?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, of course: we in the South of Italy have a debt with the greek.
        I live near Paestum and Velia , the Parmenide and Zenone homeland. At last but not the least I studied greek language.
        🤓

        Liked by 1 person

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