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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smoke and mirrors,..

In my last day of class for the semester in English we watched part of a movie called "Smoke", which in turn was based a short story called "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story" by Paul Auster. Cute story, well written. Enjoy the link. The importance to me though was a part of the intro in the movie. The author, Paul, tells a story about smoke. He goes on to explain how Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco to Queen Elizabeth in 1600, and a few years later he brags that he could measure smoke. He uses a balance scale to weigh a fresh cigar. Then he uses one pan to capture the ash, and puts the butt on the ash and measures again. He notes the difference as the weight of smoke.

Why does that matter? Well read the story about Auggie and pay attention to the picture album. The devil is in the details. You see that is smoke. Smoke is what we really want, but nobody wants to pay attention to. When you enjoy a cigar, it is the smoke that offers flavor. People talk about the leaf, the shape, the taste, but its the smoke that is the experience. It can be measured if you are smart enough to find a way. That is life. The best parts are in the smoke. Its not the wrapper. Its not the label. Its not leaf. It is the product of all those things. Those things are what give you the intangible after effect we call smoke. There is the story. 

I look at it like a game. People are so worried about who wins, and the end of the game that they do not notice the game itself. They lose focus on why we play the game to begin with. They stop thinking about the time they share around the table. They stop thinking about the actual event and focus on the end. They do not think about the points, the action, or the movements of the game. They try to finish first, or finish the strongest. The sad part is in the real game of life it ends with death and that is a prize we all get to collect regardless of who is first or has the most cash.

So measure the smoke and enjoy it. Don't get tied up in all the other trappings and forget the reason you lit the damn thing in the first place. There is substance in the smoke. The rest is just ash. You can feel the ash, but it is just what things were. Don't get wrapped up in the wrapper, that is just what is going to happen. So rather then being consumed by the future or the past so that you forget to enjoy what is happening now. Enjoy the smoke when you look in the mirror. 


  1. That is sound Advice Brother.
    In Frith

  2. Your advice came just when I needed it. Thank you Jesse!