Amazon tightrope walk to the edge of tomorrow

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By Dr. Richard Sauder | Event Horizon Chronicle

I came to South America in 2010 on a vision quest, or maybe I should say, to go even more deeply into the ongoing vision quest that characterizes my sojourn on this planet. It first began in the 1950s in Tidewater Virginia, in the fields, orchards, woods, creeks, swamps and salt marshes in the lower Chesapeake Bay region. My brothers and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods and wetlands that were all around our family home. We frolicked in the shallow waters of the Warwick River, across from Mulberry Island, wearing tennis shoes to keep from slicing our feet on the oysters that were plentiful in those years.

The skipjacks still came right in near the shore in those days, so their crews could tong the oysters in the coastal shallows.

That wasn’t too far from Oyster Point. The men’s voices rang out across the water, bantering and joking as they worked. But I don’t think that happens anymore. The last time I was back I saw that the skipjacks, the oysters and the men who tonged them, the fields and pastures, peach and apple orchards, woods, creeks, and a good many of the little swamps and marshes are gone, all effaced by time and the relentless march of so-called “progress” – – in other words the relentless march of bulldozers, chain saws, parking lots, boat marinas, strip malls, fast food joints, multiplex cinemas, and endless miles of cracker box, residential suburbs of stapled together, look-alike, middle class and lower middle class breeding hutches rented out by the decade on easy to afford, completely non-payable mortgages guaranteed to bankrupt the randy suckers who eagerly signed their lives, fortunes and prosperity away on the guttering bottom line.

Enter The Bone Lady

Be all that as it may, on a fresh spring day in 1958 my mother had put me and my older brother out on the screened, sun porch to play. The day and the events of that day are indelibly stamped on my memory as if forcibly impressed upon my brain with the ineluctable clunkity-chunk of an akashic archivist’s mechanical stamper.

I was a sickly child in those days and at the time it was not altogether clear if I would live or die. One of the few foods that my system could tolerate was Cheerios, which I ate with relish, but only with a crochet hook, and only one at a time, the preferred method being to skewer the Cheerios individually, by poking the crochet hook through the hole in the middle. The hook kept the Cheerios from getting away, so once they were hooked you could reliably raise them to your mouth and eat them. My mother had thoughtfully supplied me with a bowl of Cheerios and a crochet hook to keep me occupied. My brother was playing with some little toys and I was sitting on the porch floor directly in front of him.

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