'Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and
wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities
did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and
customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea
while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home;
but do what he might he could not save his men, for they
perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of
the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever
reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, oh daughter
of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.'
(The Odyssey by Homer, Book I, rendered in English prose by Samuel Butler)
Ithaca is a Greek island of the Ionian Sea. To make this bracelet I thought of the green on its mountains and the rose of its sunsets. A humble island it is, so I only used humble materials, like papier mache and watercolor to paint it, and common seed beads. No, the beauty of Ithaka lies not in its wealth or power. Ithaka is the destination and the journey itself. And, if you've read Cavafy's Ithaka, that is the only wealth and power one may ever truly claim their own.
'Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.'
(From C. P. Cavafy's Ithaka, translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard)