Ispiravit et labora!

Ritratto primo piano di Loranzo Cipriani con firma blu su celeste e cornice rossa scura
L

orenzo, multi-faceted character, has been sailing as skipper for over twenty years, crossing oceans and seas in search of new encounters and adventures. He also works as art historian, curator, musician and writer. In 2022 he published the book “Il respiro dell’Oceano” (The ocean’s breath) upon his return from a trip around the world that was unexpectedly prolonged due to the panemic, a turmoiled but enriching experience. He recently curated the theatrical performance “Mediterraneo: un viaggio stupefacente tra miti, sirene ed eroi” (Mediterranean: a fascinating journey between myths, mermaids and heroes) that mingles history, theatre and music. The play is based on his new book “Mare nostrum” (Our sea) that describes two boat trips in the Mediterranean following traces of the ancient world.

How do you divide your time, between work, private life, hobbies and passions?

Actually, I don’t happen to divide my time. Work, private life and passions mean the same thing to me. Since I was a young man, I always asked myself what was the meaning of the word “holiday”, when you are finally free. From what? Which activity should I not do? I could not split up any of the activities that I do, such as: planning, operational work, networking and interests. I remember a friend, who was an artist, used to tell me he worked even at night while he was sleeping. His dreaming activity was a creative source for him. Well, it works similarly for me as well.

This style of life can seem exhilarating for those who have to clock in every day but, like all things, there is always a negative implication. Just as an example, sentimental relationships are not easy to manage because they often require more stability. In some cases, I considered abandoning my way of living to dedicate myself to a person but I believe each of us must follow our daemon for our own and other people’s well being.

Have you found a balance?

When you’re navigating your balance changes continually, like the sea’s waves. That is the way it is for me. If by balance we intend reaching a state of calm, then it’s not for me. When you’re at sea the lack of wind brings stagnation, immobility; total stillness is like death. To sail we need wind, air movements, currents and waves. However, within this perpetual motion there is a balance, a cosmic balance, that can be perceived in nature’s manifestations, even the most minute and insignificant ones. Well, this balance cannot be found but we search for it and in this search lies the mystery of life.

Where do you spend most of your time when you are working?

I write in front of a macbook, that I keep on my knees while sitting on a couch, or cross-legged on a sofa in front of a lit fireplace surrounded by books in my library. I rarely write on a table. When I’m at sea it depends on the seasons. During the Summer I am on the deck, in the cockpit, doing manoeuvres, on the bow watching waves or below the deck dealing with the correspondence. My favourite retreat is a small family house on the Apennine mountains in the middle of a wood, a peaceful place I have been fond of since I was a child.

Describe your ideal condition when you are working.

In silence, when I write or prepare lessons and conferences. At sea, my ideal conditions are those that the ancient civilizations believed to be brought by Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, but also by the calm sea, crystal clear waters, peaceful navigation conducted by favourable winds.

What helps you give your best?

Whatever is a source of inspiration. A book, a song, a play. Someone or something that impresses me and, above all, an example of great personality. Fortunately, there are many and I have been lucky enough to meet a few.

What aspect would you improve?

Well, any aspect! We are always trying to improve ourselves. I don’t look for perfection. Perfection is like truth, there is not just one, there are multiple ones. Perfection is like the balance in the previous question, it corresponds to immobility. I try to improve my relationship with others, with the world and with the time I have been given to live. I would like to be more useful to people who need help. In this, there is always room for improvement.

What is stimulating you most at this moment?

A theatrical performance entitled “Mediterraneo – Un viaggio stupefacente fra miti, sirene ed eroi” (Mediterranean: a fascinating journey between myths, mermaids and heroes) that I wrote together with Maria Cassi, an extraordinary actress and dear friend. We are going to bring it on stage in various theatres in Tuscany and then we hope to perform it around Italy and also abroad. It is based on my latest book “Mare Nostrum” (Our sea), published by Giunti Editore in early May 2024, that describes my latest sailing trips in the Mediterranean with myths and legends, heroes and stories of the Great Sea. The audience’s enthusiasm on the first performance dates and the publishing of my latest book are great motivators in this moment.

Indicate a place that has particularly inspired you.

The oceans, all the ones I sailed, are always a great source of inspiration. The sea is a great master, you just have to know how to listen to it.

Lorenzo Cipriani in Sud Africa al Cape of good hope
Lorenzo Cipriani con la tavola da surf
Lorenzo Cipriani in barca a vela