Jul 142017
 
Letter from Across the Horizon

by Antonio de la Fuente Arjona……. I am thinking about this letter as I go through the tropical winter on my Black Mare. On my tricycle, I am riding from one end to the other of a heat dilated island. I am waving mosquitoes away as I write this message of relief in the air. I am talking to you. I am singing to you. And I might look like a homeless in Key West who holds interesting conversations with the wind. Here too, I [continue reading…]

 July 14, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Island Voices, Issue #227 No Responses »
Jun 022017
 
S G P - Fourth Anniversary

by Ray Jason……. 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 [continue reading…]

 June 2, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Island Voices, Issue #221 No Responses »
May 262017
 
Domino Wisdom

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 [continue reading…]

 May 26, 2017  Posted by at 1:06 am Island Voices, Issue #220 No Responses »
May 122017
 
IN PRAISE OF UNSAFE SPACES

by Ray Jason……. The waters of the Archipelago of Bliss have been a wondrous reservoir of inspiration for me as I meander through my Middle Years. My secluded life amidst these tranquil islands has blessed me with a perspective and clarity that is difficult to attain by those chained to the cacophony of the Real World.

 May 12, 2017  Posted by at 12:55 am Island Voices, Issue #218 No Responses »
Apr 282017
 
Is it Noble or Foolish - or Both?

by Ray Jason……. The wind arrived swiftly. The waves built more slowly – but also more dangerously. Suddenly AVENTURA was no longer gently tugging at her anchor. She was lunging and jerking perilously. I let out more chain to calm her, but the seas kept pounding us. The gorgeous little island with its massive coral formations had protected me from the prevailing winds for the last two days. But now that we had swung around 180 degrees, those reefs were a million-machete menace. I had [continue reading…]

 April 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #216 2 Responses »
Apr 072017
 
Temporary Sanity

by Ray Jason……. I was awoken this morning by a tropical alarm clock – the joyous sound of wild parrots flying above my anchored boat. Their airborne chirping reminded me that the last thing that I heard as I dozed off the night before was also from the non-human world. It was the raucous barking of a troop of howler monkeys. Perhaps it was because my sleep had been book-ended by these emissaries from the realm of Nature – but I felt radiantly refreshed. Lying [continue reading…]

 April 7, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Island Voices, Issue #213 No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
The Moon and the Proverb

by Ray Jason……. It was the last full moon of winter. My little ship, which was facing north, gently veered around to the east – as though she too wanted to admire the luminous moon as it rose above this jungle lagoon. Some unknown instinct had prompted me to write this essay not in the daylight or not by lamplight, but under the spell of moonlight. I abide by such mysterious murmurings. So I sat on deck with my back leaning against the mast. In [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Island Voices, Issue #210 No Responses »
Mar 172017
 
The Beer Wars: Delaware Brewery Forces Small Islamorada Brewery to Rename Their Beer

HOGFISH AMBER BECOMES SPEARFISH AMBER Florida Keys Brewing Company, the local brewery owned and operated by Craig and Cheryl McBay announced this week that their very popular American Amber Ale named Hogfish will be changing its name to Spearfish. The reason for the change came as quite a shock to the local brewers. Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE threatened the small brewery with legal action if they did not change the name of their beer fearing that consumers would not be able to differentiate when [continue reading…]

 March 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:32 am Island Voices, Issue #210 No Responses »
Mar 032017
 
A Pantheist Makes a Pilgrimage

by Ray Jason……. My heroes do not score touchdowns or lead armies or star in movies. Instead, those in my Pantheon think deeply and dream elegantly and write poetically. They are secular saints, who tried to decipher the mysteries of the human condition and who shared their discoveries with all of us. Out of reverence for their quests, I have tried to visit some of the places that were crucial to their personal and artistic development. I sat on the stone foundation of Thoreau’s tiny [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Island Voices, Issue #208 1 Response »
Feb 172017
 
Ocean's Edge: A Play in Four Acts

by Conch S. Fritter …….. County Commissioners appeared lost this Wednesday in the intricacies of their own laws. But for those who had followed the growing controversy over Pritam Singh’s Ocean’s Edge (175-room) Hotel the meeting looked like the last of the county’s many renditions of The Emperor’s New Clothes. The actors are real pros and they’ve played the part many times.

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #206, News 4 Responses »
Feb 172017
 
Homage to My Little Ship

by Ray Jason……. When the world of “today” weighs too heavily upon me, I find solace in the world of “yesterday.” And I do not have to travel far to find that comfort. In fact, I am surrounded by it. That’s because my little sailing boat – which is also my little home – is a bridge across to the Old Ways. The building of boats is one of the earliest chapters in the book of human history. Tools and fire and dugout canoes were [continue reading…]

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Island Voices, Issue #206 No Responses »
Feb 032017
 
Social Engineering on Steroids

by Ray Jason……. I spend a lot of time away from people – so that I can better understand people. But today I needed to surround myself with real people. A week of intense research on where Humanity is being herded has profoundly shaken me. I’m sitting in my favorite café here in the Archipelago of Bliss, gazing out on the main street, which should be called Avenida Anomaly, since it is so detached from the modern world. It is delightfully out of synch because [continue reading…]

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:50 am Island Voices, Issue #204 2 Responses »
Feb 032017
 
Convo with Pee-wee Herman on Inauguration Day 2017

by Kalo Clarke……. I contemplate Pee-wee’s face and words framed on my wall: Don’t Hate I’m pretty sure for this occasion he would caveat but scrutinize Adding my own flowing song to the flexible body America I go to Yoga class 11-12:30 leaving my TV tuned to the Weather Channel to tell Nielsen the whole damned world isn’t watching the raising of the right hand the 35 I-do-solemnly-swear words impossible images of prez #45 with Abe Lincoln’s Bible I grumble at Pee-wee about ominous imperatives: Lock [continue reading…]

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #204 No Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Social Engineering for Dummies

by Ray Jason……. There is only one town here in the Archipelago of Bliss, and although it is in a beautiful seaside location, it has avoided the curse of gentrification. You would never confuse it with a cutesy, sterile, tourist destination that beckons to the cruise ships. But even though it fails the “postcard perfect” test – it gets an A for Authenticity. And it would get an F from any Social Engineer. In my previous essay, I discussed how those who are obsessed with [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #202 No Responses »
Jan 062017
 
Social Engineering for Fun and Profit

by Ray Jason……. I rowed ashore at twilight because I wanted my little gift to be more dramatic. My time in the islands was ending, and this little Indio family had made my weeks anchored off their simple homestead so exquisite, that I wanted to leave them a memento of my visit. As I stepped out of my dinghy, the littlest child was her normal enthusiastic and inquisitive self. At four years old, the entire world just seemed to her to be one gigantic magical [continue reading…]

 January 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:44 am Island Voices, Issue #200 1 Response »
Dec 232016
 
A Christmas Reverie

by Ray Jason……. It is a few dawns before Christmas in the year 2016. As someone who finds his spirituality in the Cathedral of Nature, I note that today is the shortest day of the year. Tomorrow the spheres will align so that the light will increase and the darkness decrease. May we humans one day also adjust ourselves to embrace the light and renounce the darkness. And it is in this spirit that I share this Christmas essay with you. My topic is one [continue reading…]

 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Island Voices, Issue #198 No Responses »
Dec 162016
 
DESPERATE MEASURES

by Ray Jason…….          It was my very first day in the Archipelago of Bliss, and I sat savoring a meal in a waterfront restaurant.  Even though the food was excellent, what was even better was the fact that I was not bouncing around while I ate it.  After two weeks of sailing here from Key West, it was sublime to be motionless. Before my fish sandwich arrived, a wrinkled, old fisherman rowed up to the restaurant dock in a small cayuco that was hand-carved [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am Island Voices, Issue #197, Water World No Responses »
Dec 092016
 
Amateur Night

by M.R. Willison……. Who are those scowling faces congealed from their resentful pasts? And smiling unctuous ones oozing from sanctimony? Or the tweeters and those who weave their fabrications into whole-cloth fantasy? They are disaster’s chorus who used to flutter at the screens but now have breached them by inattention and design to cluster at the incandescent source, to crackle their own and our skins, too in the game of power. The head conniver, having wrung concession from the prior prissy management convenes his random [continue reading…]

 December 9, 2016  Posted by at 1:14 am Island Voices, Issue #196 1 Response »
Dec 022016
 
An Epistle to the Earthonians

by Ray Jason……. At the time, it was just an eccentric, utopian game. But now, a couple of decades later, I realize that it was a perfect metaphor for my deepest aspirations. I would find some nicely rounded, sea-worn rocks along the shore. My favorites were about the size of a mango and slightly flattened. On each one I would paint a short quotation from a wise thinker. Here are some examples that swiftly rise from my memory vault. Whitman’s “Question much and obey little.” [continue reading…]

 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Island Voices, Issue #195 2 Responses »
Dec 022016
 
Fidel's Beard On The Day Of His Death

by Edgardo Alvarado-Vazquez……. Fidel’s Beard on the day of his death (for Doña Olga, Don Fernando, su esposo y su hija Lourdes, the first people that taught me about Cuba and Fidel Castro) Today it finally snowed in La Habana as the flairs of your beard fell to the ground one white irresolute hair at a time. In Miami, the pots and spoons come out, reminiscences of other protests in a lethargic and weary Latin America. In La Habana, nothing changes a memento of an ongoing [continue reading…]

 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Island Voices, Issue #195 No Responses »
Nov 182016
 
The Sea Gypsy Path to True Freedom

by Ray Jason……. During the shrill cacophony of the U.S. election campaign, many friends and strangers asked me why I did not comment on it. The reason is because I try to observe the world as a philosopher – and not as a pundit. My belief is that pundits assess the short-term flux of events, whereas philosophers examine the long-term trends and consequences. Here are some of my conclusions. Intriguingly, they might provide some comfort to both camps – those devastated by the results and [continue reading…]

 November 18, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Island Voices, Issue #193 No Responses »
Nov 042016
 
Looking Astern

by Ray Jason……. A few hours into every long voyage there comes a precious moment. Most sailors pay it no heed – but I never miss it. Suddenly, the gradually thinning margin of land and sea disappears. The land has drowned. The sea surrounds. The domain of Humanity has vanished. The realm of Nature is resurrected. Now my only companions reside in the sea and the sky. The only laws are timeless and elemental – the mighty ocean currents and the churning atmospheric systems. Most [continue reading…]

 November 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #191 1 Response »
Oct 142016
 
The Huxlandia Trap

by Ray Jason……. In my previous essay I tried to convince you that two of the great masterpieces of 20th Century literature have been disturbingly accurate in predicting the Human Trajectory. In George Orwell’s iconic 1984, he argued that humankind faces a totalitarian future where every individual is controlled and monitored by the State. “Submit or die” might be the most accurate way to describe his dark vision. Aldous Huxley, in his prophetic BRAVE NEW WORLD, suggested that the State would dominate the masses not [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Island Voices, Issue #188 2 Responses »
Oct 072016
 
Orwellia and Huxlandia

by Ray Jason……. Two of the most enduring novels of the 20th Century are Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD and George Orwell’s 1984. Unfortunately, these dark masterpieces have proven to be stunningly prophetic. Much of the grim, totalitarian future that they predicted has already materialized. And we are steadily careening towards a nightmarish Tommorowland even more diabolical than they predicted. Each author foresaw a bleak future where the Individual was completely subordinate to the State. Fortunately, we have not yet fully descended into a serf-like, [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #187 1 Response »
Sep 232016
 
Simple Consolations

by Ray Jason……. It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed. When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #185 No Responses »
Sep 092016
 
Sunshine and Sadness

by Ray Jason……. I walked into the little Panamanian drug store feeling sorry for myself because I had a nasty cold. Two minutes later I walked out feeling humbled … and desolate. Inside there was a mom and her young teenage daughter consulting with the female pharmacist. My arrival instantly turned the scene tense. I could sense it – but not understand it. Then I realized that the druggist was showing them how to use a pregnancy testing kit. Suddenly, the insignificance of my runny [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Island Voices, Issue #183 1 Response »