The City by C.P. Cavafy: Reading and Meditation

June 15, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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The City, C.P. Cavafy


Cavafy’s words spoke to me this morning on my sunrise run past the United States Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. Though surrounded by the majesty of iconic buildings charged with upholding a nation and striving for justice, recently I’ve felt frustrated with the speed of progress, and tempted to lose faith in the institutions that make a “city” – consumed with a feeling that happiness, peace, and justice lie elsewhere, just out of reach.

“You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore. The city will always pursue you.” We are the sum of the communities that shape us, and we carry cities within us. The responsibility to face the cities in which we live, with all their strengths and shortcomings, and create the city we hope to live in, is both a privilege and a duty. When you feel tempted to search for another city or another shore, what grounds you? How do you shape your small corner of the world?

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC 

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