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Present Perfect

One day on a tiny island in the south of Chile, my friend's grandfather offered to give me a piece of land. Surely we could build a little house there. He had absolutely no doubt that it would provide me with a better life than living by myself in a small apartment in Brooklyn. I was touched but even my most romantic self could not fathom the idea of picking potatoes for the rest of my life. Later he sent me home with 5 kilos of fresh garlic, dried mint, and homemade woolen shoes. There was no space left in my backpack for the potatoes .

For the past 15 years I have taken numerous boats, planes, buses. My camera has always been with me. Photography helps me to confront the world, and others. When I look at my images they sometimes seem to come from dreams. But they tell me that once, I stood there, and those fragments of life are mine. I have this irrepressible urge to escape to the edges of the world. Places where time feels suspended and people still lead an ancestral way of life. The weekends spent at my grandma's gave me this love for the country, and relics from the past - pink chamber pots, wood stoves and instant coffee.

Every day, we see and hear so many things. It's as if someone were telling us a story, never finished, with a thousand and one details. Suddenly, there is a surprise. Something ordinary, an emotion. Life has moved and we are amazed. Bits of things speak to us, others get lost, never to reach us.

During these privileged moments I try to be in the present and absorb everything I see, experience, and feel. One rainy morning I was walking on the bridge leading to a small uninhabited island and ascreeching bird followed me . When it started its menacing descent, I knew it was time for me to runas fast as I could. I barely made it to the island, where a big black crow atop a cross stared at me and I stopped, petrified.Maybe coming to the island of the navigating souls on a foggy day was not a good idea. Back at my hospedaje, my friend told me I had just escaped brujas, witches. I later realized I had not even taken a picture.

In these moments of acute awareness, the world is new. The year and place lose their importance. my images seem to create their own universe. Even if I feel connected to the outside, to people around me, it is as if my perception of the world brings me back to memory, to childhood, to an infinitely intimate place.

In the solitude of these moments, deeply grounded in the present, I am painfully aware that today will never happen again.

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