by Chelsea Morning
You can tell a lot about a woman by what she carries in her purse: lipstick, cell phone, gum and hairbrush; everything but the kitchen sink (unless we can fit that too). I’m going to give you a rare peek inside mine. Move past all the typical items and you’ll find a smaller purse. You may be thinking that I’m a girl in need of a purse intervention, but this is where I keep the good stuff. Inside my mini-purse is my pipe, some tobacco, a tamper, and my matches. Now I don’t sound so ridiculous. Now I sound like a girl who doesn’t want to leave home without her pipe. If you’ll excuse me a moment, I’m going to get my Churchwarden. I always work better when I’m more relaxed. I hope you’ll join me.
Let your mind drift through the smoke. This can be done among friends or in solitude. There’s no wrong way to enjoy it and I guarantee you’ll start to wind down and the worries of the day will begin to fade. It’s hard to frown with a pipe in your mouth (unless that’s the look you’re going for, and we want pictures!). Life passes us so quickly and much of it is spent waiting for retirement. I’m offering you a piece of retirement right now.
Life won’t slow down for you, so take life by the stem, light it with a match, and enjoy it.
I have a list of things to do and I’m sure it’s similar to yours, leaving little to no time to relax. No matter how I struggle or how competently I pursue, it never grows smaller. I’m constantly feeding it and I rush around as though I’ve gone mad trying to get everything done as swiftly as possible. This is standard practice for our society. We are not about waiting, we are about doing. We have one-hour photo, fast food and instant messaging. We’ve become spoiled by instant gratification. Our contentment becomes an obstacle, cutting us off from new pursuits that demand exploration outside of our initial interest. I’m guilty of it too, and that’s one of the reasons I picked up a pipe. There’s a certain amount of experience needed to achieve the delicate balance of choosing the pipe that fits my mood, the tobacco that will most relax me and packing the bowl just right. This is a ritual I enjoy. Even as a beginner I never felt impatient when the first light didn’t give me that full white smoke, or I struggled to get the tobacco packed just right. It’s rare indeed that such trial and error can lead to a relaxing encounter.
We’re inclined to keep our worries tethered to our shoulders and we cleave to them as though they are all that’s keeping us afloat. We seek console in mind numbing activities which offer us short-lived fulfillment. I grew tired of my only downtime consisting of crashing in front of the TV or computer after a long workday. One hour became two, two became four and suddenly the whole evening has moved on without you. My friends became voice mails or email addresses, and when I did see them their faces were often ghost-lit by the intrusive screens of their cell phones. These days, people seem increasingly unable or unwilling to give you their full attention, allowing it to be constantly pulled away by an insistent phone, email or text message. I’m tired of looking at the tops of everyone’s heads as they gaze intently into their laps at the dinner table, as though the world is unfolding on their napkin.
Trade me your phone for a pipe and I’ll give you an hour of your life you didn’t know you were losing.
Nothing is more fulfilling than doing something you truly enjoy, whether with the enthusiasm of a novice or the deep appreciation of an old hand. There are times when the most rewarding things are the ones that draw you in, that you must work at, the things that beg for deeper investigation. I look at pipe smoking as a cause to slow down and take stock, to refocus my energies and ease the weight of the day off my shoulders, even if just for an hour. I hope you will join me on this worthy voyage.
Until next time, I wish you all a long and pleasant smoke.
|In addition to being a pipe smoker, and writer, Chelsea is also a professional model. You can see her photo shoots in the Pipe Babes section. When she is not burning up the camera lens and tobacco, she also works as a paralegal for a Midwestern law firm.|