Who am I? Grandson of the wealthy founder of a merchant company? unemployed captain of a discovery vessel sans discoveries much appreciated? undaunted, intrepid seeker of new routes and fortunes on the cusp of fabulous opportunity?
The dark, cold solstice compounds my self-doubt; and kith and kin team together to torment me, hurling terms like “failure” and “fait-neant.” Such is the plight of us the obsessed. I am so confident that my destiny is intertwined with Cathay that I care not a whit which flag flies from my topmast . . . be it tri-couleur of “le bon roi henri” or the “drie kleuren van de VOC.”
Dear reader, come hither so I may whisper secrets in your ear . . . I’ve entered discussion with agents of both le bon roi and the menheers van de compagnie. and come the balmy breezes of the spring equinox, sail I shall. I’d even fly the flag of Cathay from the mast tops . . . although I suspect their literati recluses sitting atop mountains of gold know better and fly kites. Now there’s an idea for ship propulsion too.
My deepest secret: on Christmas morning my family and I embark for Amsterdam; my dilemma is that my wife and children, though excited, think it’s to visit our friend Emanuel van Meteren, and it is that but also more.
Later messages from Amsterdam. Happy new year.
All art on this site copyright Christina Sun.