The house that was not a ship | Borja Lopez Cotelo

A Roiba | El primo Ramón

One has spoken about this house as a ship on the verge of be doing to the sea1. Probably for his situation, in this thin thread that separates land and sea, or maybe for that Ramon Vázquez Molezún’s discolored photo grasped to the helm of a ship, protecting his cranium with a cap of wool.

But we all know that this house is not a ship, in the same way that the sea is not the sea.

The sea is, actually, our fears and legends; the histories and the stories transmitted during generations; he is also each and every of the men that it removed, is every promise that in him there saw those who prefirieron to remain. It is an immense warehouse of longings and dreams, some compliments, many made pieces.

The house in To Roiba is not a ship because it is a chest; a chest of experiences and recollections, of histories that that one whispers to everything that the visit ready to listen to to her.

Ramon Vázquez Molezún, Janine, and his children, have lived – they live – in this house. And his lives have been filling, little by little, the magisterial framework drawn by the architect. The mornings to the Sun in the terrace, the evenings in the lounge that dominates her laugh from his modest scale, the children becoming major in his stays, the tide claiming the pañol in every tide.

All that is printed in the skin of this minuscule building.

In occasions for pirates, corsairs and buccaneers, for those with whom Stevenson was expecting to share grave2; in others, them more, for the ocean and in the own time.

A Roiba is old and the sea strikes her without mercy. Winter after winter the waves erode his concrete, spoil it little by little as the rheumatic skeleton of a seaworthy old man who mitigates his loneliness rescuing recollections in the tavern of Bueu’s port.

If urgent measurements are not taken, A Roiba he will silence prompt. The chest will remain empty. Probably it is the moment to remember the sad end of the Pequod and the paradox of this Ismael who, in a last effort, transformed into lifeguard a coffin to survive the sea and the men3.

And this way it could count his history.

Borja López Cotelo, doctor architect

Galicia, summer of 2014

Illustration: El primo Ramón (EpR)

Notes:

1 This way, the sea, in feminine it is as they say to him in Spanish when they want it’, assures Hemingway in The old man and the sea.
2 Robert Louis Stevenson affirms in the dedication of The island of the exchequer: ‘If the stories and the seaworthy tunes, tempests and adventures, heat and cold, if schooners, islands and the exile in the ocean, and buccaneers and buried gold and all the romances of long ago counted again, exactly as before they were counted, can take pleasure since once to they me me were taking pleasure to the young persons more wise of nowadays: this way be and forward! And ojalá I and all my pirates share the graves where these and his creations lie’.

3 Melville remembers to the beginning of Moby Dick that Coffin (coffin) was in the 19th century one of the most common surnames in Nantucket. Probably because of it, a coffin finished for turning into one more member of the crew of the Pequod.

Borja López Cotelo

Borja López Cotelo, arquitecto por la ETSAC desde 2007, y doctor por la UdC desde 2013.

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