on travels and life

on

I’ve been back home for the past few months, and between applying for school, looking for a job, managing family pressures and expectations, as well as finding ways to share all I have learnt with the world, I have had to learn patience.

A friend from IHP used to quote me a line from the poem below by Antonio Machado whenever I got too anxious about the future: ‘se hace el camino al andar’ – you make the/your way by walking. It has proven a good North Star for those times filled with doubt and angst about where I was going and what I was doing.

I share it (in Spanish and translated) with you below:

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

two container ships in the background make their way across the bay at Praia Vermelha
the bay at Praia Vermelha, Rio de Janeiro

Wanderer, your footsteps
are the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing back
one sees the path
that will never be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road—
Only wakes upon the sea.

  • “Proverbios y cantares XXIX” [Proverbs and Songs 29], Campos de Castilla (1912); trans. Betty Jean Craige in Selected Poems of Antonio Machado (Louisiana State University Press, 1979)

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