Monday, May 26, 2014


by Ray Jason

What a sweet, sublime awakening!  Three of Mother Ocean’s timeless clocks gently stirred me from sleep.  First, the boat shifted as the tide switched direction.  Then the sun nudged just high enough to peek into one of AVENTURA’s portholes.  And finally, a flock of wild parrots boisterously flew over the bay, swapping gossip and recipes. 
            I lay on my back wondering if the ship’s geckos were smiling as joyously as me.  Probably not, since they were unaware of how happily emancipated I felt.  Unlike so many of my fellow humans, I was not a slave to the Tyranny of Frenzy.  The dictators of Speed and Stuff did not control me.
            My plan had been to start a new essay this morning on some political or economic issue that was troubling me.  But then I heard … the laughter in the mango tree.  Three small cayucos were pulled up onto the beach of the little island where I was anchored.  There were many tiny, one-tree islands in my neighborhood, but those all featured tall, skinny palm trees.  But this one boasted an enormous mango tree.  And today it had five giggling interlopers.
            Up in the branches were two boys and a girl.  They would vigorously shake the limbs trying to dislodge some of the ripe fruit.  Down below a girl and a boy raced around with empty rice bags trying to catch the falling mangoes.  After half an hour, the rice sacks were almost full and the kids came down from the tree.  Then the five of them leaned their backs against their cayucos, stretched their bare feet into the water and savored a spring-time feast.  The scene was so pure and idyllic that I could visualize Gauguin reaching for his easel and brushes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


 by Ray Jason

AVENTURA on the Rio Chagres

It was a self-imposed exile.  My initial diagnosis was “world weariness,” but after a few days of solitude on the Rio Chagres, it became clear to me that my true ailment was “human weariness.”  How could my species be so foolish, so destructive, so self-absorbed, and so unaware of the consequences of its actions?  It saddened me and it astonished me.  So I had come here to escape from humanity in order to contemplate it more clearly.
            Twice a day I would row as far up the river as the strength of the contrary current would permit me.  Then I would lazily drift back down to AVENTURA in my inflatable dinghy.  As I floated downstream, I savored a tapestry of exquisite beauty – the threads included shimmering water and bird song and fish play and monkey trees in the jungle.  By the fifth day, clarity was emerging as the river breezes and the exotic night sounds healed me.  The paradoxical magic of Solitude blessed me once again.  For days on end there was not a single human in view, but this absence intensified my focus on the human project - until it seemed as sharp as the vision of the osprey that circled overhead.
            Here is what I saw.  Civilization seems to be hurtling down two disastrous paths that are contrary to each other and yet connected to each other.  The first course is a societal ruination that is so catastrophic that I refer to it as apocalyptic collapse - or to create a term – APOCOLLAPSE.  The second course is a steady but accelerating reshaping of the western democracies into tyrannical police-surveillance states.  I call this FULL SPECTRUM NEO-FEUDALISM.