by LJ Frank
The Darién Gap is a geographical break between Panama and the Republic of Columbia, a thick jungled, mosquito infested landscape of swamps, wild exotic animals, poisonous snakes, frogs and spiders, beguiling orchids among other flower species underneath the spreading canopies of trees, and, in the jungle, one might come across thieves, drug dealers, etcetera, here and there, one near knows in the dense jungle, but perhaps not as many as one might conjure in one’s historical understanding…regardless it’s a dangerous journey, especially for the migrant! One must beware to not lose one’s footing. Skimming the treetops in a sea plane or jungle hopper in this case, the trees hide the events and happenings underneath the lush growth except for what looks like a human body lying next to a river. Perhaps a person attempting to migrate north. The jungle is a hiding place. The Gap is a rain forest and one’s skin is always wet. The stories of the inhabitants are a weave of traditions, survival, superstition, and belief midst joy and tragedy and tattered wear and habitats. And there’s the poverty.
Then there’s the District of Columbia, a geopolitical Darién Gap, a limestone jungle where there exists large numbers of dealers under the rubric of lobbyists for pharmaceutical, oil, property, insurance, weapons, and other interests, some under the radar, money is exchanged for a vote. The Republican Party is leading the charge in disinforming the public as to their motives – the goal is simple: money and gaining more power. The problem might be as in a natural jungle when an animal becomes extinct. People become pawns. The habitat has become more treacherous. The Republican Party and Democratic Party no longer exist except in name. The tents of both parties have been stretched thin. Sole power is in the hands of the wealthiest as is the case in both places.
The tour guides in both locations talk of traditions knowing full well the powerbrokers deal in leverage with a grin in the privacy of their boudoirs having no need for a mosquito net.
Both locations are jungles, one artificial, the other natural, and both have links to larger geopolitical interests, linking states and countries, between districts and republics.
The path through the jungle of the future looks clearer when self-honesty prevails assuming one has the experience and insight of such a value, for the vines of self-deception can lead to a fall.