First and fourth essays at that page
FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014 Pipe Smoking Forums: "Join at the risk of your sanity"
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017 "Pipe smoking used to be simpler..."
I have enjoyed watching Ralfy review distilled spirits for years, and his You Tube Channel is comprehensive to say the least.....
Whether we realize it or not, pipe smoking and change are inherently intertwined. Combustion, by definition, is change. When we apply the charring light, the visibly dark, mocha-colored leaf is rendered all the more so, before being met with the gentle nudge of a cool metal tamping foot. When the flame is reapplied, like the final winding of a pocketwatch, the gears of crackling tobacco start to turn within. But pipes are not pocketwatches. Their presence always seems, at least from the smoker's vantage point, to slow down time to a steady, gentle pace, easily followable without any need to rush. They also seem to, at least for the moment, make change a welcome thing.
Change is typically quite unwelcome, as it's an indicator of loss of control. It's difficult and therefore naturally incites resistance. In the context of enjoying a pipe, however, it's part of the pleasure of the experience. Over the course of a bowl, a given blend can greet the smoker with myriad flavors, with certain notes potentially making themselves known gradually over time, and others appearing intermittently from puff to puff. The smoke takes on a life of its own, adapting to our cadence and draw. But what is it about the framework of pipe smoking that shifts this paradigm for us, making change not only tolerable, but exciting?
Like a Rube Goldberg machine, when we enjoy a pipe we let the smoke run its course. We open our mind to the flavors and notes of whichever blend we happen to be enjoying, allowing them to evolve as they see fit. We sit back and watch the smoke billow and plume, with each draw slightly different from the last. Smoking, like life I suppose, is really about the experience, rather than the destination at the bottom of the bowl.