Monday, September 05, 2011

"Life is a path that you beat while you walk it"

--- ascribed to Antonio Machado, in Arie de Geus, The Living Company (1997) p. 155.

It seems to be quoting the line "se hace camino al andar" from the poem Caminante, no hay camino, which could also be translated as, "the road is made by walking" or "you make your path as you walk."

Here's the text from the ellyjean blog, with a translation she ascribes to wikipedia:

Caminante, son tus huellas 
el camino y nada más; 
Caminante, no hay camino, 
se hace camino al andar
Al andar se hace el 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. 

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 behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road–
Only wakes upon the sea.
De Geus responds this way: "To me, this line embodies the most profound lesson on planning and strategy that I have ever learned. When you look back, you see a clear path that brought you here. But you created that path yourself. Ahead, there is only uncharted wilderness."