Well I guess I should start out by saying that I apologize for not posting a blog in a long, long, while. I have been very busy with work and school which has limited my time at home on the computer. I sometimes get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I forget about sitting down with some of my brothers and discussing the most important issues that have gone on in life.
To talk about time we have to have time. Sometimes people forget how time flies when they are not around. For example, I finished my homework tonight and lit up a bowl of Captain Black and was looking at my laptop and remembered that I had not logged on for a while. So I logged in and saw that a fellow member had emailed me. After giving him a rambling reply, I started lurking around the forums and noticed that the rules of the box pass had changed, so I decided that it was time to remove myself from that list due to not being within the range. I then started posting some replies to other forums and ended up here writing a new blog.
We all would like to have more time, but if you really think about it, time is relative. What one person thinks is long may actually be short to someone else. I heard it said best by a fellow soldier when he said; “Ten minutes is an infinity when you are in a firefight!”. When I sat back and thought about that statement, I could understand what he was actually saying. We all have thoughts on what we base time on. Sometimes those thoughts differ from others.
I have decided that I am not spending enough time on what has been an important part of a healing process that has taken two years. This process has been pretty tough and I feel I have endured it well. The thought of healing sometimes brings the images of injuries and sadness to one’s mind, but we have to think of it as a learning process that we all must go through. At this point, I want to advise anyone reading beyond this point could be actually really boring (not like it hasnt been boring up till now) and if you want to go on to better things, it is totally understandable.
In 2007, I was stationed in Iraq as a member of a counter IED team. My job was to find the people who were responsible for manufacturing, buying, selling, or emplacing IEDs along routes of northern Iraq. As time went on, I did some “outside the wire” work. I started seeing things that really took a toll on me. I then started noticing that a lot of the guys would go on a roof of a hooch and smoke cigars every night. I started thinking about this and decided to join them one night. When I arrived to the group, one of my buddies offered me a cigar and I respectfully declined. I just put a dip of snuff in and listened in on the conversation. As I was sitting there, I noticed an aroma that I had smelled many times during my childhood. I looked around and saw one of the soldiers smoking a pipe.
I got up and went over to him and asked where he had purchased the pipe and he said he had it sent from home. He asked if I liked it and I told him that I thought it was very nice. He proceeded to tell me the “ins and outs” of smoking a pipe and then offered me a pipe to smoke. I gladly accepted this offer and basically said teach me.
This young man sat down with me and taught me how to pack a bowl and do a few charring lights. Then the next thing I know, I was smoking a pipe. I went to bed that night with nothing else on my mind but how to get my hands on a pipe and some tobacco. The thoughts of what people would think crept in to my mind, but I decided that it didn’t really matter at that point. I woke up the next morning with a mission in mind. I started my search and came upon smokingpipes.com. I then emailed my then wife and asked her to order me a Stanwell and some decent tobacco.
Once I recieved my package I became a regular on the roof in the evenings. I found that just cleaning the pipe was enough of a distraction that it took my mind off of the bad stuff. I started realizing that this hobby became a passion and was helping me deal with some times of my life that were not ideal.
When I came home later in 2008, I started my collection and I used that collection as a crutch. As I went through my sessions with my therapist, I told him about my new hobby and he told me that I should continue with it. It was a healing mechanism for me. He told me that this was a good thing, and that it helped me deal with things because it was something that I used to distract myself during the period.
With time and pipes I have dealt with some of the worst things I have ever been involved with. Time helps us all when we need it. Yes time is hard to come by, but in the end, it is still relative.