Stay Curious

I have a black cat. It would be better to say that she, Iki, has me. She made me change my mind about my lack of interest in cats. As it usually happens with moments of change, she entered my daily life without asking permission and went on to occupy a place in my workspace, from where I write these words, or in the chair of my laboratory. This initial disinterest was mutating into sustained sympathy. So in 2019, in a bookstore in New York I found a magnetic print that could well be a portrait of Iki, with the legend “STAY CURIOUS”. That remaining in a ‘state of curiosity’ is the common denominator of cats. It came to mind that this latent curiosity in childhood is diluted over the years, as if anticipating a disappointment at not finding what we are looking for, even if we do not know what it is. Then we abandoned the search before we started. This is not the case with cats, sneaking into a closet, climbing into a library, or appearing where they have not been called. Always looking for something, which is not necessarily food. It’s the search for itself. Simultaneously it came to my memory that in ancient times, being curious was fitherned by the society of the time. The curious person was labeled intruding, both in worldly and spiritual matters: all the answers had already been given, and it was not necessary, and even counterproductive, to generate uncomfortable questions or observations. It was intended to make curiosity look like a pathological trait. Because women and men from later years persisted in their longing to know beyond the established, it is that today we consider questions as important as possible answers.

I bought the magnetized plate impulsively and now it’s in front of me: it’s one of the first things I see when the day starts. Among other things, it encourages me to imitate Iki’s insatiable curiosity. Then I notice that this new kind of observation has aroused my curiosity towards cats. The cycle is paying off…

About “Cartographies of an in-land sailor”

This ship has been sailing for more than three decades and today, (April 2020), it’s the first time that this solitaire and absentminded sailor decided to make records, some retrospective and some recent ones.

Chaotic, absurd tales from here, there, nowhere… And also brief descriptions of his imaginary sailings.

Just think of the logbook written by the captain of the Flying Dutchman: ghostly notes, vanishing details, words and pictures to be read and seen by wandering spirits, or perhaps by… you?

Welcome aboard!

Recent posts

The dark cabin

January 20th, 2021|0 Comments

Near the bow is the main cabin, where imagination flies at the pace of the wind, or simply sings with the waves of the port. At the stern is a secondcabin, which I call The Dark Cabin. The result of each voyage is reflected there. Maps and geographic charts, whether real or fictional, see the light in a space where light is paradoxically scarce. I don't visit that space every day. Doing so involves staying more than half the day working in reddishdarkness: the materials used there require that kind of lighting. The days designated for such work are premeditated and scheduled. As I stay in this cabin, the ship is adrift. Hours pass and at the end of the day one or more maps are finished to be shown to those people who know about my travelsand wait in a hurry in some port. To them I dedicate these rectangles of paper that will one day be as faded as my hair: there is no map or navy thatresists the onslaught of the years. The dark cabin also officiates as a Machine Room. My ship's devices are electrical and mechanical. There is no technological sophistication. Just theessentials to get to the destination: just some instruments that direct the light, and some substances that allow me to draw maps. The enlargers, radiating light from their lenses, look like headlights in the dark that, in their work of printing, guide me towards the final destination: the finished photographic chart. For this humble navigator, everything is unified there: at that moment the map and the territory are the same thing, just as the shipand the sailor are identical.