Monday, December 23, 2013


by Ray Jason

It is Christmastime down here in the Banana Latitudes.  Far to the north in the Frenzied Latitudes, the shoppers are body-slamming each other with vigor and venom.  In a little Panamanian town square, I savor the sight of the Indio families in from the hills letting their children marvel at the lights and the decorations.  Compared to El Norte, it is all so calm and unhurried and moderate.  Surely gifts will be exchanged on the big day, but there is none of the fevered gluttony for stuff that soils the holidays in the First World.     
            As I leave the park to head back to AVENTURA, a faint, sweet music whispers from the little chapel across the street.  I cross over and answer its call.  It is a choir of children practicing Christmas carols.  The beauty and innocence on their faces is enough to inspire a Leonardo to reach for his canvas and brushes.  I am spellbound by the sound of these old English folk songs exquisitely rendered in Spanish.  Their last song is a playful version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
            It is still joyously cascading in my head when I step back aboard my lovely sailboat.  Since eggnog is not available this close to the Equator, I improvise and combine some warm milk with some Bailey’s Irish Crème.  It keeps my festive joy simmering; and I settle in to ponder what “my true love might give to me.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


by Ray Jason

Sailing down the decades, my sweet little boat and I have witnessed some amazing meteor showers while alone at sea.  During those nights I always listen to Debussy’s lyrical masterpiece “Reverie,” while lying on my back and marveling at the falling stars.  And what makes it even more sublime is being the only human presence in that sector of the planet.  It reminds me of how utterly tiny Homo Sapiens is in the grand scheme of things.  Unfortunately, back on land the dominant perspective is just the opposite.  Humanity considers itself the Grand Actor in the center of the cosmic stage, and Nature is merely the backdrop.