Jumping Off the Pirate Ship

I am fascinated by the latest book I am reading (‘The Meaning of Human Existence’ by Edward O. Wilson): ants communicating with an alphabet of some twenty pheromones dialed at different intensities and combinations, butterflies that see ultraviolet light, elephants that talk at frequencies below our hearing range, birds that sense the earth magnetic fields, plants that talk to each other. There seems to be immense realities that we are just starting to discover, dimensions of our own world we did not even know existed, surrounding us every moment. I am in awe at the inter-connectedness of EVERYTING. The two cypresses in front of me might be whispering love poems through the embrace of their roots, while the cicadas’ hiding in the branches seem to be battling sex wars fought with tunes and pitches. The little bird puzzled by my presence feels the call of the sky through the slight breeze that carries the scents of many more worlds, all unknown to us.

The destruction of industry during the somehow recent homeland war here in Croatia has given a little repose to nature. An ephemeral instant, already vanishing in front of my eyes: oil from the giant yachts starts to coat the sea waters in the tiny harbors, plastic bags and bottles invade the inlets and coves, the sea is emptied to feed the masses of tourists, each one feeling entitled in his or her own way. There is the father of two that has been coming to this place for many years, the group of young Spanish girls discovering independence for the first time, the teenager fueled by hormones heading to the ‘Ultra’ music festival in the next town, the old fisherman smoking with his pals at the park bench, the Russian sex doll kissing a man twice her age that buys her jewelry and vacations on a boat the size of a couple of average homes. We all feel the center of the universe, blind and deaf to all realities but one. But really, who needs another financial executive, or another flavor of Fruit Loops, or another Netflix or Uber or Pokemon Go?

Individualism and personal freedom if left unchecked inevitably lead to greed and resource consumption. Collapse is closing in each day. It will be just like the Easter island (I am sure the guy that cut the last tree thought that was HIS tree), except now at a global scale. I confess I had my part in this, working for years for a large corporation that pushed me with a golden stick to ‘turn a blind eye’ to my moral, social, political, ecological values. But since leaving some 13 years ago I have stubbornly refused to continue to be part of the problem. The first response has been to jump off the ‘pirate ship’, to seek peace and answers within myself, to find ways to live a peaceful life without hurting anyone else. But recently I have started to wonder if I can continue to whisper in a world that screams. The same goes with my photography, in which my ‘complex simplicity’ philosophy just seems to go un-noticed most of the time (although to my critics I grant that I still have some ways to go). The answer I seem to be finding in this place is a stronger call towards my conscious community. I am not talking about another ego-inflating workshop or ‘consulting’ business or ‘community-based’ start-up or NGO. My answer might simply be to bring people together, to build awareness and discuss issues, to shed my/our masks and attempt to create authentic connections. If there is one lesson I have learned in California it is that I feel much closer to the meaning of life when I am running around naked in nature with other beautiful strangers then when I sit in a conference room devising ways to ‘increase internet traffic’ and make more money. Or put differently: I rather walk around with my camera doing the work than build Instagram followers and talk about the work. So forgive me if I do not post as often as you expect me to and if I do not call or email you every other week. But our door (that is: the real, physical one) will always be open to you, as long as you approach us with the same integrity.