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 The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe

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Age : 41
Location : Gilmer, TX
Registration date : 2014-01-23

PostSubject: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 1:00 pm

Back in November/ December of 2013, I realized that I was super stressed out and never could seem to take any time to relax or wind down.  I had been considering picking up the pipe for a while, but had always found an excuse to not do so… cost, time, etc.  I talked to my wife and she agreed to let me buy a pipe and some tobacco to see if it would help me to unwind a bit.  Thus my journey into the world of pipes and tobacco began in January of 2014.  Since then, I have fallen down the rabbit hole and have acquired quite a few estate pipes and two of Kirk’s (Briar Spirit) Pipes and over 11 lbs of tobacco.  My horizon has been expanded as well as my palate.  I enjoy everything from Aromatics to English blends, depending on what my taste buds desire.  However, despite the enjoyment, I have had several surprising blessings come my way as a result of picking up the pipe.  

The first surprise I have had with smoking a pipe, is friendship.   I have discovered a world of unique people that not only have a common interest in smoking a great pipe, but also have a common goal of taking the time to enjoy the small pleasures of life.  This group is (for the most part) very civilized, easy going, honest, and just plain enjoyable to be around.  I have made some very good friends in the 5 months I have been a brother of the leaf.  This community, rather family, has accepted me with open arms.

The second Blessing has been one of the main reasons I took up pipes in the first place.  I have found that I can take the time to stop and think on the day that has passed.  I can enjoy the evenings as the sun goes down.  I can take time to be thankful for all that is good in my life.  I am learning even to be thankful for the struggles in my life, as I know that they make me a better person.  I can enjoy the taste of the different blends of tobacco, and try to figure out what is in each blend.  I take that time to read as well.  I can ponder on what I have read, or meditate.  It has given me time to rest and become refreshed.  I don’t always get “in the zone.”  But I get there often enough that it makes a big difference in my stress levels.

However, the biggest blessing and surprise for me, is the way it has begun to bring my son and I together.  My son is 14, and a typical teenager.  He doesn’t want to listen, or follow directions.  He gets a bad attitude as fast as the weather changes here in Texas.  My patience has been worn down to practically nothing.  I get to my wits end faster than a drag car to the end of the ¼ mile strip.  However, I just couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to reach through the stubborn teenage haze to get his attention.  

As I mentioned before, I like to read while smoking a pipe.  I had picked up a book, on the recommendation of an acquaintance, and decided to read it.  It is “Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Classics)” by James Martin S.J.  As I read through this book, I began to see that I was going about this the wrong way.  I was trying to mold my son into what I thought he should be, than trying to help him find out who he really is and to become the person he is supposed to be.  I could take a look at myself and see where my failures were, and how my attitude needed to change.  It’s amazing what you figure out when you take time for reflection.

So, Saturday morning, when I went out to smoke a pipe, I invited my son out to sit with me on the front porch and drink coffee and just talk.  We ended up sitting out there for an hour and a half while I smoked my pipe. We talked about everything and anything that came up.  When I would want to say something, I would stop and sip on the pipe, so that I would be sure to think before I spoke.  I was able to give much better answers and to explain things much more clearly to him.  I found out that sharing my morning pipe time with my son actually helps tremendously.  Yes, my smoking time is a time for me to reflect, but I have realized that pipe time is also a time to share with others, if they will but sit down and enjoy the experience with me.  Granted, my son can’t legally smoke a pipe with me, but I do let him take a sip every now and then to try one of my newly acquired blends.  I found that the rest of the day went smoothly, without bad attitudes, or frustration.  I invited my son out to join me yesterday (Sunday) as well, before we ran ourselves ragged (as we tend to do on the weekends).  Again, it was a wonderful day.  I won’t say that this fixes everything.  However, it has started us down the road to giving us neutral ground to meet on.  I know that as he gets older, this neutral territory will become more important to the both of us.  I just hope that when he is 18, that he will pick up a pipe with his old man and be able to understand the blessings of smoking a pipe.  When that day comes, I will be sure to have a Briar Spirit Pipe waiting just for him.
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Age : 40
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2012-03-23

PostSubject: Re: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 1:29 pm

Nicely put brother. I have found that pipe smoking has also had a profound experience on my life. It helps change one's perspective.
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Age : 29
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 2:26 pm

Great story brother, really enjoyed reading about your journey through pipehood.
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Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 3:15 pm

Yes, I really enjoyed that aswell...
It got me thinking about my pipe journey too and it seems we have trodden a similar path.  I started piping at a  similar time to you and have experienced several benefits.  The time I take to smoke is a time to reflect upon the day and through this I'm better placed to deal with the goings on of family life.  Interestingly, my wife will often ask if I'll have a pipe and it's then that we'll sit watching the evening draw in, discussing life's events.  I recon it's only a matter of time before your son starts asking the same...
A great read Mr Klutz Sir, thanks again.
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Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 7:33 pm

Thanks for sharing JP. I think it's great you're able to connect with your son in this way. I sure wish my Pap had done something like this with me. He was a pipe smoker as long as I can remember, but I was a butt head at 14.



"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin

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Age : 75
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Mon May 19, 2014 8:08 pm

JP, you have learned quickly some of the truths it takes others years to discover.
The bond you and your son have, and the ability to cross generational lines is to be commended.  You have found, as I have, some great people that you want to be around..people you really can call friends.  You, as I, have stumbled on a magical crafter of wood who puts his heart into each piece...and you can feel it when you hold his pipes.  Kirk is truly special as is his pipes.  This is something you want your son to experience also...it is a magical moment.
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Age : 48
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: The Blessings of Smoking a Pipe   Thu May 22, 2014 5:46 pm

Thanks for sharing JP. It's nice to hear that you're making a connection. It's bloody hard at that age to get through to them.

Best of luck keeping the lines open between you
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