I can’t remember when I first picked up a pipe. It was over half a decade ago or so and I did so on a whim or was it? I think I needed something that would help me reconnect with the men who have helped shape me into the person I am today. It became a crutch, a way for me to pretend that my father and grandfather were still alive. I even found myself imagining what I would say to them when I got home. Needless to say, coming home was heartbreaking every time. I ended up dropping it after a few months.
After a lot of soul searching and dealing with a lot of emotional baggage, I find myself coming back to it. I can’t help but think I started pipe smoking for the wrong reasons or that I lacked the maturity to appreciate the art of it. Perhaps a little of both. But now that my mind is clearer, I gave it another chance, and I am glad it did.
Yes, it still remains a way for me to reconnect with my dad and my grandfather, I still imagine what I would tell them, but now it’s something more than that. I find that when I pick up my pipe, it lends me a certain amount of clarity. It is a perfect companion with a nice cup of tea and a good podcast or video. It lets me step back when my temper gets the best of me and view things with a better perspective. It makes good conversations amazing, and quiet time more meaningful.
Now, I know you may think I am overstating things. Perhaps I am. I have been known to exaggerate. But that doesn’t change the fact that pipe smoking has given me a lot. I used to laughingly quote statements from other esteemed pipe men such as Mark Twain and Einstein, but I never understood what they meant. Perhaps I never will, but at least I have a little glimpse into what they were trying to say.
So I find myself, at 2 AM, drinking a pot of some Black Pagoda Tea, smoking a pipe, looking at pocket watches, and writing my thoughts on a hobby and fascination that has captivated greater men than me in ages long gone. I feel thankful that I’ve decided to join the brotherhood of pipe smokers, a small spark in a room of bright flame, but a spark nonetheless. Sad, that I started this journey alone, that the people I wish to sit down with have gone on ahead to the great beyond. I feel hopeful, that this journey will never end and that I will always keep learning more and experiencing more things.
There are so many other things I want to say, but it is getting rather late. So till the next time, thank you for having the patience to go over my ramblings.
PS: Now, I know a lot of people in my life who love me condemn my smoking and keep warning me about how it will kill me. I appreciate the concern, and I love you all but this is something I have decided to do. I know you don’t understand, and I don’t expect you to. I just hope that you will respect my decision in this and that you will continue loving me.