Sunday, May 24, 2020

POETIC JUSTICE

Here's a great idea.  Please try to work it up the chain of command with whatever contacts you wonderful readers might have.  

Let's make the White House Press Corps wear these rigs since they are so adamant about social distancing.  The optics would be tonic for the spirit.  Laughter can help!




MY NEW ESSAY IS BELOW THIS, BUT WANTED TO SHARE THIS ZANY IDEA WITH YOU AS WELL.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

THE THREE HORSEMEN OF FEAR

 by Ray Jason


      How strange and sad our world has become. We are so transfixed by the daily cacophony of death counts and fear and idiotic tyrants, that we have failed to notice something that is truly extraordinary. We have overlooked the fact that the specific individual men who have done the most to ruin our lives have no decency … they have no shame … and they have no remorse.
       In the West, there are three individuals whose pronouncements have been extremely significant in essentially placing billions of people under global house arrest. These supposed “experts” have had their edicts accepted as though they are messages from the gods. 
      But I will demonstrate that their recommendations for dealing with the Wuhan Virus, have been grotesquely wrong. And even more amazingly, their prior track records on infectious diseases, have also been incorrect and disastrous.
       In any sane world, these so-called “deciders” would have been fired long ago. Why have they been kept around? Perhaps it is because they are reliable, senior cogs in the planetary system that is Bill Gates Amalgamated.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

PHILANTHROPIST OR MONSTER?

by Ray Jason

      Imagine that you want to rule the world. However, your desire is not motivated by the usual psychotic lust for power. Instead, you have convinced yourself that your megalomania is pure. You just want to “save the world.” You see your quest as Messianic. You believe that “the little people” are not visionary enough to comprehend what is best for them and for their planet.
       You, on the other hand, have a stunningly clear-sighted plan. The world needs to transition from a chaotic menagerie of countries and governments into a Single Global Entity. Borders should be abolished. Then leaders, who are elected by the whims of the uneducated masses, should be replaced by appointed, unaccountable “experts.”
       The sun would rise on a new world of orderliness. Unfortunately, small modifications would have to be made to the common man. They would need to surrender their freedom, their individuality and their ability to sculpt their own unique life.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

DID YOU NOT NOTICE?

by Ray Jason

      Did you not notice that they originally told us that we must practice “social distancing” and we must “shelter in place” in order to “flatten the curve?” In other words, if we stay inside, all will be well. And then suddenly, the World Health Organization claims that they also must come into our homes to make sure that family members are not spreading it to each other. And while the police are in our house, perhaps they should remove that wackyconspiracy theorist,” who is wondering whether this is just a massive psychological operation.

       Did you not understand that putting our lives and futures into the hands of these misnamed “trusted authorities” was sheer lunacy? Look at their record on this pandemic thus far. They told us it could not be spread from human to human. They told us that China had handled it admirably, and thus it would likely remain a localized problem. They told us not to worry about attending St. Patrick’s Day parades or Chinese New Years’ Festivals. And then they locked us in our homes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FOOLISH OR WISE?

by Ray Jason

      In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, in which one can invert reality and view the world from an upside-down perspective, let’s ask a few questions about the topic that presently dominates our hearts and minds and doorknobs.

       1) Why has every single celebrity who “allegedly” contracted the Wuhan Virus, claimed that they “feel fine?” And why have none of them become severely ill or died?
      
      2) Who benefits? Or as a Roman Caesar might say, “Cui Bono?” This is the foundational question that should be asked when trying to solve a crime or unravel a mystery. Who is most likely to gain or profit from this “invisible enemy?” Here are just a few examples:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

THERE IS NO WUHAN OCEAN

by Ray Jason

      For nearly a decade I have been using the internet in an attempt to persuade people that an ocean-going sailboat is the best defense against an increasingly fragile and volatile world. My contention has been that small groups of like-minded cruisers could band together to create Sea Gypsy Tribes.
       These sailors would prepare their vessels to respond to any type of cataclysmic event. Regardless of whether it might be an economic collapse or a grid-down emergency or any other crisis, a well-equipped, any-ocean sailboat is the best escape pod.
       Unfortunately, my Sea Gypsy Tribe idea did not catch on as I hoped it would. But because the sea gypsy life is such a sane approach to authentic and balanced living in this often lunatic and artificial world, I believe that people should consider it as a life path. Because of the down-sizing and true self-reliance that it requires, it allows one to not just survive - but to actually FLOURISH!
       With the spread of the Wuhan Virus around the globe, the defensive capabilities of the ocean sailing lifestyle again become prominent. (Note that I do not refer to the disease as COVID-19. There are two reasons for that. First, is my contrarian inclination to never accept, without careful scrutiny, any narrative that our leaders rulers foist upon us. And second, because of the quaint old nautical tradition of naming previously undiscovered reefs after the ships that pile up onto them. So why not give Wuhan that distinction, rather than saddling the plague with a name that only Hal, the computer from 2001 Space Odyssey, might invent.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

THE SEA GYPSY OPTION - 2020 - PART 1 - DISAPPOINTMENT AND REJUVENATION

by Ray Jason

TODAY'S SUNRISE
      One of of the exquisite joys of the sea gypsy life is the fact that it blends together two opposing worldviews. Even though most ocean vagabonds are incurable Romantics, they are also cautious Realists.  
      Surely, sailing to the South Seas requires the care-free bravado of the dreamer, but it also demands careful expertise. Out there on the Wide Waters, far from any help, one must have many skills including seamanship, navigation and boat repair.
       I contend that this advanced level of preparedness is also extremely valuable in responding to land-based issues. For example, if the current corona-virus does become a world-wide threat, I could literally complete this sentence, go on deck, lift my anchor and within 15 minutes be in the open Caribbean Sea far from any risk of exposure.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

MY CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR GRETA

by Ray Jason

Greta,
 
      You don’t know me, but we share something in common that is very special. That something is enormous and powerful and beautiful and elemental. That something is Mother Ocean.
       I too have spent long periods of time at sea. My longest ocean passage was 30 days, sailing my little 30 foot boat from Hawaii to San Francisco. In my case, I was also doing this alone.
       So you have experienced something of extraordinary magnificence. You have glided – or on difficult days - pounded – across the Wide Waters. Very few people have ever done this. To be hundreds of miles from the nearest humans, in the gigantic vastness of the Sea, can teach a person just how tiny we are compared to the mighty eco-systems of our watery planet. And looking up at the immense dome of stars, with the clarity of deep-ocean darkness, reinforces that lesson in humility even more.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A SEA GYPSY GIVES THANKS

by Ray Jason

      How sweet was this? Looking at the tables full of sailors eating, chatting and smiling, I realized that I was one of those rarest of individuals – someone who had found his Tribe. In a world cursed with profound loneliness that is deliberately hidden behind the charade of cyber connectivity, I was blessed with genuine community.
       These were not Facebook friends, they were face-to-face friends. We were not communicating via screens and pixels. We were interacting with our voices, our glances, our laughter.
  

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

THE HUMAN LIGHT-HOUSE



by Ray Jason

Birthday photo 2019
      What a magnificent birthday gift I received this morning. As I sat on deck with my clipboard and pen, sorting out my thoughts for this essay, the nearby jungle erupted with the unmistakable barks of howler monkeys.
       This bellowing symphony was made even more delightful by the fact that I could enjoy it despite my simple and spartan lifestyle. Had a Silicon Valley billionaire wished to experience the same primordial cacophony, not even the world’s best travel agent could guarantee it for him.
     The throaty, but almost comical, howls of the monkeys also reminded me of an important philosophical lesson. If one seeks to lead a contemplative life, it is important to peel away the fleeting, transient elements of the human drama and focus on the enduring, permanent aspects. 
      And what could be more elemental than creatures that have lived in the tree tops for who knows how many thousands of generations?

And so this inspired me to explore in this essay the most basic of issues – specifically – What is their Plan?

Monday, September 30, 2019

SAILING INTO SOLITUDE

by Ray Jason


INDIO SCHOOL BUS
       My little ship’s bow was pointed towards one of my favorite destinations. It is a tropical lagoon enclosed by the steep, lush hills of a full-climax jungle. But more importantly, I was also sailing towards a “state of mind.” This idyllic bay would provide me riches that are rarely savored in the low-grade mayhem that we call The Modern World. The treasures I was seeking were Simplicity and Solitude.
       For twelve days and nights, I would bask in a hideaway so pristine that it had never been violated by a siren or a car alarm. There were very few humans and most of my immediate neighbors were creatures who lived in the Sea and the Sky. Occasionally, a smiling local Indio paddled past in a hand-carved dugout canoe. The tranquility was so visceral, that when a boat powered by an outboard motor passed by, it was as jarring as a chain saw at a yoga retreat.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

ELDER EMANCIPATION

by Ray Jason

      It was a “chilling realization.” As my brain processed those two words, I chuckled quietly. More accurately, it might be described as a “frigid, terrifying realization.” That’s because I was in the Far North – the High Arctic - on-board a fragile, fiberglass sailing boat, trying to make it through the Northwest Passage. It took 86 days from Newfoundland to Nome, but we did persevere and prevail.
       The realization that had disturbed me was the possibility that I might not make it back. One misstep and I would slide into a watery grave. It was so cold that the Sea surrounding our boat was frequently turning from liquid into slush on its way to becoming solid ice.
       The question that I had asked was “What would happen to my essays if I did not make it back?” The stark clarity and elemental reality of the high latitudes, imposes a need for no-nonsense truth. And so, as I stood my midnight watch while the rest of the crew slept below, I answered honestly. “They would probably be dust in the wind.”
  

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

THE GRAVEYARD OF IDEAS


by Ray Jason

      The great American novelist, Jack London, used to host elaborate dinner gatherings at his ranch in northern California. He would invite a mix of notable people from the worlds of literature, politics and business. Sprinkled among these well-known “thought leaders,” as we would describe them today, would be a group of “regular folk” from the neighboring ranches and towns.
       After dinner he would rise at the head of the long table and announce that they were going to engage in a debate. Then he would choose a topic such as “Should alcohol be made illegal.” Finally, he would pause for dramatic effect, and exclaim in a ringing voice, “I’LL TAKE EITHER SIDE!”
       I first heard this inspirational anecdote from my debating coach in college. He, and the four students who comprised our team, were packed into a tired station wagon headed for a tournament somewhere in the Deep South.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A HAIKU RETREAT

by Ray Jason


Haiku master BASHO
       Elemental ecstasy – yes, that’s the feeling. A bliss so simple yet powerful that it finds and fills even the deepest pockets of emptiness within me. Here, in this quiet lagoon that is so authentic, I am safely cocooned from a world that is so artificial.
       With my back leaning against my sloop’s mast, I survey a panorama that would delight a hunter/gatherer rowing by in his dug-out canoe hundreds of years ago. Off my port-side, a predator bird perches alertly on a high branch, and up past my starboard bow a dormant volcano peeks through the morning mist.
       I sailed here seeking escape and solace. Too much study of the woes of this world, and too much failure at lessening them with the medicine of words, had drained me. I needed the replenishment that can only be found in solitude and silence.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

KEEP ON RUNNING, KIM

by Ray Jason

As Bolton and Pompeo - who are a human Axis of Psychosis -  attempt to force the U.S. into a war with Iran, it seems like a good time to re-post my most heart-felt anti-war essay.  This was first published in 2013 just as Obama was about to lob Cruise Missiles into Syria.  Fortunately, international opinion and lack of support from England was sufficient pressure to restrain him.

Of my 120 essays, this was the one that received the most appreciation and support from my readers.  I hope it touches you.

http://theseagypsyphilosopher.blogspot.com/2013/09/never-stop-running-napalm-girl.html

Saturday, May 25, 2019

THE SEA GYPSY SOLUTION

by Ray Jason

      Recently, when sorting through some mementos, I encountered three short quotations that had helped launch the Sea Gypsy decades of my life. It was startling to discover how much power and enchantment they still possessed. Allow me to share them with you.

“...whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul … I account it high time to get myself to sea as soon as I can.”

Herman Melville

“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.”

John Masefield

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.”

Robert Service

       That final quotation is particularly important to the subject of this essay. When I first began to wander the Wide Waters, it was not because I felt forced to do so. It was because I chose to do so.
       But in today’s society, there is a large segment of the population that is scorned with such venom, that I believe that their best strategy is to escape from the abuse that is heaped upon them in the terrestrial world. I urge them to revitalize their lives with freedom, substance and adventure by heading out to Sea.
       Who am I referring to? You might have already correctly guessed. It is young, white, straight males. I am not recommending that they join a navy or a merchant marine, but that they sail away from the growing and darkening madness in their own little freedom ship. It is much easier and cheaper than you might think and I’ll explain all of that later in this essay.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME AT NOTRE DAME

by Ray Jason

How I will always think of her.
      Long ago and far to the North, a stranger gave me a little gift. It was a modest offering, but it proved quite meaningful at a crossroads moment in my life. Having recently returned from Vietnam, and seeking a way to make a living that would not contribute to the U.S. War Machine, I was doing a little juggling act on the streets of San Francisco.
      This was in 1971 when the American revival in street performing was just beginning. Scattered about the sidewalks, one could find mimes and singers and magicians. But there were no jugglers. I had learned basic juggling at a summer camp in my early teens, and decided to put together a little show to sustain me while I “got my head back together.” My assumption was that this would require a few months, and then I would settle into some sort of real job.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

MESMERIZED

by Ray Jason

When the world weighs heavily upon me, I find comfort in a modest little cafe that overlooks an even more modest little park, here in the Archipelago of Bliss. Many people would probably describe it as a run-down, dilapidated park. But I love it because it is a refuge from the frenzy and artificiality of El Norte.
       It is full of authentic, ordinary people chatting with friends while their kids play on the swings and sliding boards. They are keeping an eye on their children, but they are not hovering over them like Smother-copters.
       Scattered on the perimeter are benches where Indios from the out islands sell produce that they grow on their little homesteads. The police do not move them along and code enforcement does not ask for their licenses. These officials realize that non-First World folks are smart enough to know how to clean their own vegetables, and that they don’t need the government to sanitize them.
      Every once in a while someone brings a box of baby chickens to sell. The Indio kids are ecstatic 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

DISILLUSIONMENT OVERLOAD

by Ray Jason

Before I found my way to the Wide Waters, I spent a lot of time on the Asphalt Seas. I hitch-hiked tens of thousands of miles around the U.S. during my college years. The catalyst for this was my desire to feast on the visual cornucopia of the continent. And I also hoped to discover the special American spirit of nobility and brotherhood that Walt Whitman and Woody Guthrie celebrated through poetry and song.
       I wore a rugged, brown, naval aviator’s jacket from a surplus store and carried a small, tough suitcase that I adorned with decals from my travels. This was well before the back-pack era and the relative ease of thumbing rides with hippies in VW vans.
       One other item that also traveled with me was an envelope filled with my favorite quotations. When waiting for a ride in some inhospitable spot, I would pass the time finding comfort in the wit and wisdom of these insights and observations.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

THE LABYRINTH OF INTROSPECTION

by Ray Jason

Something in the Sea awoke me. I wondered if the sound had only been from a dream, so I listened intently in the darkness. There it was again. It was near, but unrecognizable. I grabbed my flashlight and pepper spray and quietly slipped on deck to investigate. Nothing appeared unusual, but then I heard the sound again. It was up near the bow.
       The moon was half full, so I didn’t use the flashlight as I crept forward, because I know every contour of my boat like a sculptor knows clay. As I got close to the bow, I was startled by a sudden squawk and then the flapping of wings as a black-crowned night heron flew swiftly away. It had been fishing from my anchor chain.
       I chuckled and apologized to the fleeing bird, and then I went below to make some tea. There were still a couple of hours before dawn, but the unexpected encounter had jolted me awake. It seemed like an excellent time to seek some clarity on a topic that had been fermenting within me for a while.
       Recently, a young reader had written to me in muted desperation. He confessed that his life seemed like an indecipherable jumble of thoughts, emotions and insecurities. He said that he admired the way that I could discuss complex topics in such a clear and organized fashion. He was envious of how confident and free from doubt my life seemed to be.
       And so, in this peaceful, isolated cove I settled in with a cup of tea, my clipboard and its tiny light, to reassure that unknown reader that I too am often assaulted by a “jumble of thoughts, emotions and insecurities.”

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR THE PLANET

by Ray Jason



      Happy Holidays my unknown friends. I bring tidings of Joy! Certainly I am no wise man from the East, but I am a thoughtful man of the Sea. And although my gift may not be incense, frankincense or myrrh, it is still quite precious. I bring you Amnesty. I offer you emancipation from The Great Doom that has been prophesied for the last 30 years – Climate Change.
      Daring to share optimistic conclusions about this topic, is a fairly certain path to ridicule and attack. I recognize that the Green Police will put me in their cross-hairs. But the further that I advance into the autumn of my Life, the more I embrace The Need for Truth.
                                                      *******

      Until a couple of years ago, I too, was a true believer in the man-made climate change theory. But my sea gypsy sense of adventure accidentally led me to more carefully study some of the evidence that was being incessantly 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

THE SILENT SURRENDER

by Ray Jason


This sea gypsy life has rewarded me so richly. A philosopher’s yearning for knowledge, for understanding and for wisdom, requires certain conditions in order to be achieved. For me, those necessities are Solitude, Simplicity and Silence. These qualities are essential if one is to discern worthwhile lessons amidst the frenzy and cacophony of modern life. And they are abundant in my quiet, watery world.
       Long years of pondering the bigger questions, have convinced me that humanity is silently surrendering its independence to nameless, faceless social engineers. They have severed us from our historical brilliance as strong, self-reliant, members of the natural community. They have converted us into fragile, dependent clones in the artificial world of cyber-cities.
       These Life Programmers have transformed us from pioneers with rugged skills wearing sturdy clothes, into consumers with useless diplomas squeezed into skinny jeans. They have replaced face-to-face friendship with face-to-screen “connectivity.” And now the streets are strewn with hipster zombies who are as addicted to their devices as a ghetto junkie is to his fix.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A BIRTHDAY GIFT ... TO MY READERS

by Ray Jason

It is dawn on the anniversary of my birth – long ago. I sit quietly and peacefully marveling at one of my favorite panoramas here in the Archipelago of Bliss. In the foreground, lovely ocean-striding sailboats gently tug at their anchors. Beyond them, the sun’s first rays accentuate the elemental beauty of the neighboring islands. And far in the distance is a range of mountains crowned by a sleeping volcano.
       Last year, on my Northwest Passage crossing, I saw the northern extremity of this mighty cordillera that stretches past my handsome sloop and extends all the way to Cape Horn. Will I one day see that legendary southern peak that has brought such ecstasy and agony to ocean wanderers?
                                   
                                     *******


       Blessed and cursed as I am with an overactive “introspection gene,” I become even more contemplative on my birthday. But how could it not be so, when one is in the Autumn of one’s life with the years thundering by and the disappointments mounting?
       These last five years since I started my Blog, which strives for a deeper understanding of the human project, have been rewarding but also very unsettling. Initially, my research via the internet was exhilarating. Here was information and knowledge without gate-keepers. Explanations and narratives that had seemed suspicious to me during my college years, could now be fully investigated.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE LONG VIEW

by Ray Jason

      The eye surgeon offered me a choice. She said that after the cataract was removed an artificial lens is inserted. She then gave me two options. Would I prefer to be far-sighted or near-sighted? I instantly chose the long view.
       After leaving the V.A. hospital, it dawned on me that this selection applied to much more than my human vision. Had I chosen the “near” lens, I would have been able to see my GPS more clearly as I continue to wander the Wide Waters in my lovely sailing boat.
       But with the lens that allowed me to see farther into the distance, I could more accurately pick out the stars that steer me when I do celestial navigation with my trusty sextant. The symbolism of this did not escape me. For I am a believer in the under-appreciated merits of “The Old Ways.”      
      When I first crossed oceans by myself, there was no Global Positioning System. And there could again come a time when there is no GPS. But those stars are eternal. They have guided mariners for a half a dozen centuries.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

THE HEALING WATERS

by Ray Jason


      The Waters were calling me again. But not to embark on another frigid trip into the deep ice, like last year’s Northwest Passage voyage. This time the warm waters of the Archipelago of Bliss were beckoning me with a promise of solace and separation.
       I needed to get away from my quest to understand – at least for myself – how the world really works. So much time spent studying the riddle of how so few people can dominate so many people, had worn me down. Trying to comprehend the black pathology that drives some people to weave webs of secrecy and deceit in order to control others, had exhausted me.
       Fortunately, in less than two hours I can sail to a spot that never fails to comfort me. It is a little beach where there is no phone service, no internet and no connectivity. But there is a connection to what may be the absolute best medicine for world weariness – the laughter of children.
        

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

STARTING A SEA GYPSY TRIBE

by Ray Jason

There are hundreds of harbors scattered around our wet, lush planet with dozens of ocean-ready sailboats anchored in them. Nearby there are marinas with additional blue-water cruising boats ready to cast off their dock-lines and head out. So how do you transition from being a sailor who admires my Sea Gypsy Tribe concept, to starting a tribe of your own? Here are some helpful suggestions.

  1. Right click on the “Escape of the Sea Gypsy Tribe” essay title. Copy it, and send it to other sailing friends who might also appreciate my ideas. If they find it appealing, then make sure they read the other essays that flesh out the strategy more fully. They are linked in the fourth paragraph to make it easy for everyone. You could also print them out and hand deliver them to any good prospects.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

THE ESCAPE OF THE SEA GYPSY TRIBE

by Ray Jason


For many years I have been arguing that ocean-going sailboats are the best survival pod if the world plunges into catastrophe. I have encouraged alert sailors, who understand the fragility and dangers of this historic moment, to band together into Sea Gypsy Tribes for mutual support.
       A well-stocked sailboat that can swiftly put to sea and avoid the initial mayhem, has the best chance of surviving any devastation. Whether it is a rapidly collapsing economy or a pandemic or the electric grid going down or nuclear horror, the safest place will be in a flotilla of like-minded, self-reliant sailor-folk, far from the fury of the cities.
       Your escape vessel will be propelled by the wind or by the diesel engine when it is calm. Solar panels and a wind generator will keep the batteries topped up allowing radio communication and on-board creature comforts. There will be plenty of long-life foods, a water-maker that converts sea water into fresh water, a good medical kit and sufficient firepower for a worst-case scenario.
       I have described my Sea Gypsy Tribe concept in several essays that are scattered throughout this blog. They thoroughly discuss both the “why to” and the “how to” details of such a positive life change. Hopefully, you will research them. You can easily find the first three here, here, and here. There are several more that flesh out my concepts even more fully and these are easy to locate if you scroll down my website. They all have the words “Sea Gypsy Tribe” in the title.

Friday, June 29, 2018

CHILDREN OF THE WIND

by Ray Jason

Scamper – yes, scamper – that’s the word I was searching for. The little Indio children were playing tag in a maze of mangrove roots, and I was looking for the perfect verb to describe their dexterity and speed as they chased each other. They were not running and they were not leaping - they were … scampering. And what made their game even more amazing, was the fact that they were doing this with bare feet.
While viewing this exquisite scene, in which raw Nature was their playground, how could I not contrast it with the “children’s recreation areas” of the so-called First World. Among the tangled branches and roots of this authentic jungle gym, there were many sharp spikes that taught them a valuable lesson. These kids learned to play with joy and abandon, but to also pay attention.
      I marveled at the stark difference between this playground, which was literally growing out of the Earth and the Sea, and the plastic, rounded-edges, garishly-bright, child-safe playgrounds of El Norte. Once again, my beloved Archipelago of Bliss, with its primitive wisdom, seemed to offer better life lessons than the advanced societies.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNLEARNING

by Ray Jason

      There is a frigid clarity in the Far North. The question was - would it benefit me or bedevil me? Along with the bone-numbing cold and the unimaginable desolation, would there also be insights awaiting me in the barren ice?
        I hoped so, and that is why I took two blank journals with me. One would record the daily ordeal of pushing a 42-foot fiberglass sailboat through the 5,000 miles of The Northwest Passage. The other would help me navigate the Inner Voyage.
      Throughout my essays I have often spoken of the philosopher’s need for solitude. Without such isolation, it is difficult to distance oneself from the mundane and focus on the meaningful. But on this expedition there would be a paradoxical irony for me in this regard. On the one hand, I would be in a vast geographical area that was almost completely uninhabited. But I would also be in a small sailing boat along with four other people. And this situation was quite difficult when one “needed a little space.” It was not like you could just go for a swim.
      

Friday, June 1, 2018

THE ONCE AND FUTURE BLOG

by Ray Jason
 
Amongst the ice in the Northwest Passage

Hello Everyone,
 

Today is the fifth anniversary of my SEA GYPSY PHILOSOPHER website.  Normally, on this occasion I review the joys and tribulations that I experienced while trying to write another year's worth of essays that hopefully are powerful, provocative and poetic.  But, as many of you have noticed, my tiny nano-corner of the Blogosphere has been completely silent these last twelve months. 
 

I decided to take a sabbatical because I firmly believe that anyone who dedicates much of their life to Ideas and Words, must periodically challenge their beliefs, and question their biases.  Therefore, I have done so. 
 

Now I'd like to share some of these new conclusions in the hopes that such revelations might be helpful in some small way for you - my mostly unknown but treasured readers.  My goal will again be to create one new essay about every two weeks. 
 

Although my site abstains from a "comments" section, I do encourage you to contact me through the direct email address which is provided for you in the right hand column.  It is usually possible for me to respond to most of the people who take the time to do this.   

                                              *******

As for The Big Adventure that I was embarking upon when I last wrote to you, it was a great success.  We triumphed in our attempt to sail a 42-foot fiberglass production boat through the fabled and extremely dangerous Northwest Passage above the North American continent. 
 

Don't let anyone tell you that the ice in the Arctic has melted, and that anybody can effortlessly jaunt right through.  In fact, a high- ranking Canadian Coast Guard officer claimed that probably none of the sailboats attempting it in the Summer of 2017 would make it through.  But most of us persevered, and struggled through ice fields that often seemed impenetrable and endless.  Some of the vessels did get trapped for days at a time.
 

Ray in the Northwest Passage
Back in my natural habitat
I joined the boat in St. Johns, Newfoundland and then spent 86 consecutive days and nights aboard, until we arrived in Nome, Alaska.  For a man who has lived an almost inconceivably solitary life, this was supremely challenging since there were 4 other people aboard this 42-foot boat.  Then to heighten the adventure, toss in the risk of being crushed by ice or devoured by polar bears.  Certainly, we all earned our Explorer merit badges.

                                            *******

As I begin this second incarnation of my little blog, I will strive to make the website a bit less "heavy" and a bit more enjoyable.  All that time in the High Latitudes convinced me that there is so much that is admirable and valuable about a person's "story."  And through the years many of you have asked for more information about my particular long and watery road. 


So, in the near future I will include some nice photo sections from my street performing days and from my around the world juggling journey and from my sailing voyages.  I will also index the blog so that it will be easier to find your way to essays on specific subjects such as the anti-war pieces or my Sea Gypsy Tribe concept. 
 

In conclusion, I am greatly looking forward to again becoming a tiny part of your lives.  In this increasingly chaotic and bewildering world, my hope is that I will become for you ... a Blog Over Troubled Waters.
 

All the best,
 

Ray
     

Thursday, June 1, 2017

S G P - FOURTH ANNIVERSARY


Today is the fourth anniversary of my little blog.  It has been a delight sharing my unusual perspective on the world with you, and I greatly appreciate your support and encouragement.  Thank you so very much.

Highlights from these last 12 months include the publication of my 100th essay and clicking over a quarter of a million visits to my site.  Most amazing and pleasing.  

Special thanks to Naja who edits The Blue Paper in Key West.  They have re-posted almost all of my essays and I greatly cherish having their readers aboard.

I continue to keep my little sharing space as pristine as possible with no ads, no donations tab and no Patreon link.  Financially it is a challenge - but emotionally it is a reward.

As revealed in my recent essay entitled IN PRAISE OF UNSAFE SPACES, I am about to embark on an exciting and hazardous adventure (all true adventure involves danger).  I will be crewing aboard some friends' boat as we attempt to sail the Northwest Passage - up where the polar bears roam.  As someone who has always aspired to being both a philosopher and an adventurer, this is a perfect opportunity for me.  

The voyage should take a few months.  Will post essays whenever I can, but the internet availability will obviously be a significant issue.    

It will be intriguing to see if this radical change in latitude and temperature changes my perspective.

You'll be the first to know.

Thanks again,

Ray

Thursday, May 25, 2017

DOMINO WISDOM



by Ray Jason            

photo by Ray Jason
Years ago, I nick-named this modest little spot The Domino Triangle.  It was too tiny for an actual building, so a tarp had been slung to provide shelter from the sun and the rain.  Beneath it was a folding card table and some battered chairs, where the locals would play dominoes. 
            When the tropical heat would begin to lessen in the late afternoon, the men would start gathering.  They arrived with beer and a little pocket money.  They also brought something that is increasingly rare in our modern world – modest, earth-bound happiness.
            Their conversations revolved around the elemental concerns of bedrock Humanity – too much work and not enough pay, the entertaining inscrutability of wives and girlfriends, and the follies of their grandchildren.  Nobody was discussing how many pixels the next iPhone camera would have or how Amazon’s stock price is so high when they never turn a profit.

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