Never to have seen anything but the temperate zone is to have lived on the fringe of the world. Between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer live the majority of all the plant species, the vast majority of the insects, most of the strange ... quadrupeds, all of the great and most of the poisonous snakes and large lizards, most of the brilliantly colored sea fishes, and the strangest and most gorgeously plumaged of the birds.
The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.
a library shaped by the aspirations and concerns of people who came of age in the late sixties [the collected works of Thoreau, Lopez, Abbey, Ginsberg, Snyder, Kerouac, the entirety of the Foxfire series as well as The Gulag Archipelago, The Tropic of Cancer, a smattering of Gogol, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky, The Rubaiyat, The Sand County Almanac, Them] ["The Basement, ' The Awl, Feb 5, 2015].
I can conceive few human states more enviable than that of the man to whom, panting in the foul laboratory, or watching for his life under the tropic forest, Isis shall for a moment lift her sacred veil, and show him, once and for ever, the thing he dreamed not of; some law, or even mere hint of a law, explaining one fact; but explaining with it a thousand more, connecting them all with each other and with the mighty whole, till order and meaning shoots through some old Chaos of scattered observations.
There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. There is a delight in the hardy life of the open... Apart from this, yet mingled with it, is the strong attraction of the silent places, of the large tropic moons, and the splendor of the new stars; where the wanderer sees the awful glory of sunrise and sunset in the wide waste spaces of the earth, unworn of man, and changed only by the slow change of the ages through time everlasting.
John Dorschner, one of our staff writers here at Tropic magazine at The Miami Herald, who is a good friend of mine and an excellent journalist, but a raving liberal, wrote a story about a group that periodically pops up saying that they're going to start their own country or start their own planet or go back to their original planet, or whatever. They were going to "create a libertarian society" on a floating platform in the Caribbean somewhere. I know there's never going to be a country on a floating anything, but if they want to talk about it, that's great.
Tito snored away on the other bed. Out there, all around them to the last fringes of occupancy, were Toobfreex at play in the video universe, the tropic isle, the Long Branch Saloon, the Starship Enterprise, Hawaiian crime fantasies, cute kids in make-believe living rooms with invisible audiences to laugh at everything they did, baseball highlights, Vietnam footage, helicopter gunships and firefights, and midnight jokes, and talking celebrities, and a slave girl in a bottle, and Arnold the pig, and here was Doc, on the natch, caught in a low-level bummer he couldn't find a way out of, about how the Psychedelic Sixties, this little parenthesis of light, might close after all, and all be lost, taken back into darkness...
His new friends did not, perhaps, realize the overpowering effect of the sudden change upon this northernbred man; the effects of the moonlight and the soft trade-wind, the life of love which surrounded him here. Love whispered to him vaguely, compellingly. It summoned him from the palm fronds, rustling dryly in the continuous breeze; love was telegraphed through the shy, bovine eyes of the brown girls in his estate-house village; love assailed him in the breath of the honey-like sweet grass, undulating all day and all night under the white moonlight of the Caribbees, pouring over him intoxicatingly through his opened jalousies as he lay, often sleepless, through long nights of spice and balm smells on his mahogany bedstead-pale grass, looking like snow under the moon. The half-formulated yearnings which these sights and sounds were begetting were quite new and fresh in his experience. Here fresh instincts, newly released, stirred, flared up, at the glare of early-afternoon sunlight, at the painful scarlet of the hibiscus blooms, the incredible indigo of the sea-all these flames of vividness through burning days, wilting into a caressing coolness, abruptly, at the fall of the brief, tropic dusk. The fundament of his crystallizing desire was for companionship in the blazing life of this place of rapid growth and early fading, where time slipped away so fast. ("Sweet Grass")
Henry S. Whitehead