You know you’ve become a ship when you feel the flow under your footsteps, when you realize that your world is following a rolling motion, and when through its windows you see the horizon line move.
Otherwise, you’re a stranded construction.
A ship consists of a structure with cabins, corridors and decks, and although it does not appear on the plans, in its design there is a quiet, intimate and imperious need to sail.
The place where I decide the courses is spacious: it occupies much of the ship. Some might find it overwhelming, loaded with objects, books, pencils, inks, folders, and notebooks with notes, sketches, or texts half-written.
It’s a messy place for those who don’t know where to find things. Maps, routes and destinations are being stacked there.
On a legacy desk I choose pieces forgotten by more than a generation: pens, magnifying glasses, squares, scissors and bars, cockades and strange relics that could be appreciated by antiques.
I don’t know the cause, but I identify myself with those little objects where time left a patina or wear and tear that I find of endearing beauty. I hold them in my hand, I contemplate them, and they always tell me a new story that inspires me wishing to set sail into the past.
But the boat is here, and now I’m in my cabin.
I don’t have a fixed time to get in or out of it. My transit through its surfaces, shelves and drawers is constant and unpredictable, driven by going to meet an object, or to sketch a project, or to review, magnifying glass by, the archived negatives that I will perhaps print in the coming days.
I take my naps in the cabin. There’s a simple bed that sometimes becomes a muse that hugs me. When I wake up, I usually invent or discover a new itinerary.
Nights happen differently: often the swell causes insomnia. These night storms find ears ready to echo the thunder, and then, even in the total darkness of the room, scribble written or drawn in a notebook by the bed are, the next morning, proofs that I survived the shipwreck. If I’m lucky, a new course is set. From then on, it’s a matter of drawing sketches of the map and to go looking for resources and a crew of ideas to accompany me on the journey.