Within a space becoming alive

by Michaels Vieser

It is the Vaka, that carried us through days and nights, through waves and still water, through stories of whales to the whales themselves. I only remember the moment we stepped on board, then, in the harbor. After that, we became a part of her makings.

„The Vaka is our mother“ the people in Polynesia say. „She takes care of us, nurtures us, caresses us, feeds us and keeps us alive.“

The Vaka is a floating vessel on the sea and so much more than that. Her space becomes alive by all the doings she asks for. An anchor is not let down by the automatic pushing of a button, which might entice the mind to drift someplace else, while the electric impulse levers it’s heavy chain into the deep. When the Vaka anchors, hands have to get busy, backs need to be bent, feet need to be rammed into the wooden planks. The mind needs to be present, here, and now. If not, the chain might slip over a naked foot, the back might be stretched too far. Bodies and Vaka become one in the tasks she asks for.

Once the anchor is in or out, its chain wants to be folded and laid out in little bends, neatly, orderly, for everything has its place and one way to be. Not two ways or three ways to be, just one way. There is a gentle reassurance in the makings of the Vaka: by doing and repeating, her space becomes filled with meaning, her space becomes a world, a world with its own rules. Basic rules, rules that make sense.

Long time ago, someone, many ones, dreamed up the Vaka. She is a space that has been tied together. Planks and ropes, a tree to steer with, another tree to carry the sail.

When the wind blows into the sail and dances around the painting of a dolphin on its canvas, we lean back. We look into the ever changing texture of the water and might notice the many ways waves are painted onto the Vaka. There are waves patterns on the railings, on the sides of the hulls, on the skins of the sea animals decorating her sides.

I am thinking about all the dead time we spend in our so called civilized lives with our high tech devices. The time that is spend in a no-space that does not belong to anything in the world we animate with our bodies.

At dusk, a whole day was spent on the boat. The moods of the atmosphere have steered our moods. The sunset is a slow calming down of the wind, the waves, the light. The color of the ocean changes, from mercury to a nameless colour. The sky, once again, is reflected in the waves. Their patterns change. We melt into the world.

„A Vaka is not for sailing,“ Dieter says, „it is for drifting. And if I am honest, I never want to arrive anywhere on it.“

Image sources

  • Michaela Vieser on board: Okeaos