Thursday, January 13, 2022


It is not what you think. She was referring to the pot of tea leaves and Chinese dates I had on the stove. The dried dates were there to add sweetness and mouthfeel. There was also some sliced ginger in there. This is the basis for many nice cups of milk tea throughout the day.
As well as providing a covering aroma that de-tobaccofies the apartment.

It's a mighty good thing, as you must understand.
Very low flame, several hours a day.

Chinese women are opposed to tobacco use. Chinese American women are more vocal (and pushy) about that). My apartment mate is a Chinese American woman.

Dutch men are, mostly, smokers. Dutch American men are pig-ass stubborn in two languages, not just one. And I am a Dutch American man.

I am, as you would surely expect, always aware of what might diminish the smoke smell. In the afternoon, that's four or five hours plus plenty of ventilation before she returns. At night there is no hope. Necessarily, then, the first and last smoke of the day must be outdoors facing the howling gale like my whale-hunting ancestors striding manfully over the soggy moors.

For some reason, my mind tends to wander off when I'm out there with my pipe. This morning's walk in the darkness before dawn had a passage from the Rig Veda drifting into the forefront of my hazy consciousness. "Hvayami Agnim prathamam svastaye hvayami Mitra Varunav ihavase; hvayami ratrim jagato niveshanim hvayami devam Savitaram utaye" (I firstly invoke Agni for wholeness, I invoke Mitra and Varuna to come to our aid ; I invoke night who renders the world at peace, I invoke divine Savitri to benefit us). It is not connected to anything, it was just something I read a while back.
I've only had one cup of hot liquid so far. Once she leaves for the day, I'll put the pot on the stove, and drink another cup before I start my usual routines. Agni (fire) makes the beverages possible, both coffee and tea are covenantal and companionable (Mitra and Varuna). That which is right and good cannot function without these (Mitra and Varuna again, through what they enable and vouchsafe). Knowledge, reading, reason, and art, are the boons of Savitri, again not possible for some people without caffeine. Night has ended for the time being.

Obviously I need that coffee. I'm gibbering.

Caffeine is sacramental.

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