A Heavenly Cigar

Cigar

Source

It's somewhere between one and two in the morning and I'm on my patio lighting my cigar. There is a little wind and it takes several tries because my lighter keeps blowing out.

Finally I am able to cook the end of the cigar enough to start drawing on the other end so it can sustain a nice glowing burn. I don't realize until then how tired I really am and I blink away the acrid smoke and sleep that are irritating my eyes. The cigar smells good though. Reminds me of my grandfather. Opa smoking his pipe on the patio in Holland many years ago.

It's not my usual cigar, it's called a Robusto by Rocky Patel. The brand name is odd, like the name of a boxer or fighter, but the other flavors by the same company are amazing and I hope to have another figurative out-of-body experience with this one.

But this one is not quite the same as the others. Instead, something else happens, something amazing. After a few puffs, I exhale smoke through my nose. It hits me. I feel my legs relax, and my head feels smooth.

Then I notice a difference, a new awareness compelling my senses. Colors grow brighter, my vision gets sharper and the sleep is leaving my eyes. I become intensely aware of the night outside beyond the short fence that borders my patio.

Yellow light from the street lamps make the wee hours of the night seem like another kind of day. A neighbor's Christmas lights take on the defined shapes of hanging semi-circles over the garage and I notice the red, green and blue lights in the small tree on their lawn. My truck is parked directly in front of my apartment and it gains a defined outline, its black trim in stark contrast to its white body.

There is a thick fog that obscures the street beginning half a block away, its mists encroaching the middle of the quiet, peaceful roundabout at the corner of my apartment block. The dense vapors are most apparent around the two lamps in the middle of the intersection, as if cozying up to them like a cat curled up in its favorite place on top of a high bookshelf.

Thoughts start to form and curl around in my mind like the fog itself. The smoke from my cigar blows around my face in the gentle wind. It merges seamlessly with the cloud that has descended to the streets as if to convey that there is a spiritual plane above us and we need to be reminded of its existence, to be in awe and fear of it.

Yet I know that even if this vapor that is back lighted by a multitude of street lights - really is some kind of heavenly fragment, it is but a bare wisp of the glory above. I know that heaven is filled with not only greater colors in a greater variety of hues, but a brilliance that would blind an ordinary man. No man can look at the face of God and live. Even Moses, who was not allowed to look at the face of God, his own face shone with God's glory just because he was in His presence.

Perhaps the fog I experienced with renewed eyes is just a fog, but God's comings and goings are marked by clouds. For a moment, I glimpsed a small essence of that glory in the company of a cigar, simple street lamps and the thick mist that surrounded me tonight.

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Comments 35 comments

Tobia Sanders 5 years ago

You certainly are gifted at expressing yourself ! : )

I think you are needing some serious sleep...and perhaps a vacation? How about it? You are always welcome here, my friend. Thanks for sharing.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much Tobia, and I look forward to visiting.


Tobia 5 years ago

You're so welcome : ) We look forward to your visiting too....hopefully soon !


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Great write my friend, was quite enjoyable with a unique view painted well in word. We have a better place that's ours for the asking, Peace, Dusty


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for stopping by 50, always glad to see you or visit your hubs, and thanks for the praise. All I can say is amen - I agree.

Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Ask and it will be given. (paraphrased).


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Mark, Like you I'm a paraphraser, most scripture spewers word for word over the years have turned out to be un-enlightened by the words they spew. They are quite helpful when I'm paraphrasing to set me straight as to where it is and word for word quote it, making my life easier than it all ready is, God Bless their hearts, I must thank them for their help.

You've just stated how easy it can be with an open mind and loving heart, seek, knock, and ask. Thanks for the great write with much peace, blessings and love, Dusty


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

A good cigar once in a while is not unwarranted. The key is moderation. They do smell nice. Great hub!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Words of wisdom Silver, this is why I keep it at one or maybe 2 a week, and sometimes less. (Some may feel that's excessive too).


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Gosh! missed this one first time round too. You have been inspired lately! I shall have to try one some day. Do you smoke those nasty cigarettes too?


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Gypsy! Yes, sometimes I do. I don't buy packs anymore, but if I'm with someone who smokes, I'll bum one off once in a while. But it's more like a social thing, cigars are what I really love.


Brutus Orkney profile image

Brutus Orkney 5 years ago from AZ

I once, twice or seven times had an experience like this. However, it was back when I was in college and do not believe the items we smoked were called cigars, hahaa. I used to smoke cigars while I was living in Spokane, Washington and I must say, your visual of the patio and looking out at the lights, immediately sparked a sense of euphoria....thanks for that and thanks for a great read!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Very cool. Washington is a possible future residence for me because I love the rain and cold. Funny you mentioned the, "other items," because the cigar was so good, I was almost worried it could be a gateway drug. Thankfully no cigars have been as good as that one since, unfortunately.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

Well I have never smoked a cigar. You sound like you had a delightful time. It is amazing to search for God and then when you least expect it, he will show his divinity! Be blessed..voted up!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I know, weird dichotomy right? It really was one of those moments. God bless you too Jo, my friend.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading this. You definitely have talent! I tried to smoke a cigar once and believe I turned, first white, then green. I do sometimes enjoy the smell of drifting cigar smoke. I also believe that you can see a glimpse of God anywhere, anytime. Thanks for enjoying my blog, "Heavenly Answers." I appreciate it!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Your welcome and thank you. I have to admit that I usually like the smell of a cigar better when I'm not smoking it, but smoking it is better than smelling it :-) Thanks for visiting another of my hubs and commenting.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

You're welcome. God bless!


mikeb72 profile image

mikeb72 5 years ago from FACEBOOK

I have found this quite frustrating as I am in the process of quitting cigars, and you have reminded me of why I started in the first place, thanks, I think, lol


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Oy, each person has to figure out what's best for them, but I would love to hear why you are quitting cigars. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

good hub, Alexander. I like how you turned a cigar into something evangelistic. That takes skill. I've written a couple of hubs on pipe smoking: "Leaves Black" and "A Smell is Worth a Thousand Words." They are certainly powerful. They attack all the senses.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ha ha you're right PDX, I had no idea that's what I was doing, but those two subjects do seem to be almost contrary to one another now that I take a second look. I'll have to take a look at your take on pipe smoking. I tried a pipe, but it's not as relaxing for me, and easier to overdo it because you can just keep stuffing more tobacco in there. Thanks!


stessily 4 years ago

AM, Perfect title, perfect theme, perfect presentation, perfect beginning, perfect ending, perfect throughout.

I love this sentence with its simile likening the "dense vapors" around "two lamps" to a cat on a high bookshelf:

"The dense vapors are most apparent around the two lamps in the middle of the intersection, as if cozying up to them like a cat curled up in its favorite place on top of a high bookshelf." (My sister's latest kittycat, Augusta "Gusty", is attracted to books and loves to rest on them as pillows, contort her body around them, bury her paws underneath them.)

I also appreciate the imagery of the cigar smoke blending with clouds to "convey that there is a spiritual plane above us and we need to be reminded of its existence, to be in awe and fear of it."

Every sentence flows from its predecessor and on seamlessly to its successor.

Thank you for sharing this heavenly experience, an unexpected gift (often the best kinds of gifts!). The sources of inspiration and of realization are diverse. Who would have thought that street lamps, mist, and cigar smoke could convey such depth and wonder?


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Exactly! It was so unexpected. Thank you for the high praise - I would not have thought of this as perfect myself :-) I actually like the simile of the vapor to the cat the most myself and I'm glad you picked up on that as you always seem to when you visit one of my hubs.

Gusty has great taste, please give her a good scratch under the chin for me or a hug.

You are awesome stessily, thanks for making me feel the same way.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

alexander, I find cigars and hookah to be easier to overdo then smoking a pipe, but, perhaps that's because I am an experienced pipe smoker :-)


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

You probably just have more self control. Although, I have become more disciplined with cigars, I know I don't need to smoke them down to a nub and I throw a small smokable section away when I feel I have hit my limit. I hate feeling nauseous after a good smoke!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

oh ya. I've almost puked at the Hookah Lounge before from smoking for too long...


stessily 4 years ago

AM, Excuse me for interrupting your dialogue!:-)

I just wanted to let you know that, per your last comment to me above, I gave Augusta ("Gusty") both a good scratch under her chin on your behalf as well as a nice hug. She appreciated both gestures greatly and was very concerned that I convey her thanks for your kind thoughtfulness. She also noted a faint "heavenly" aroma in the air from your cyber scratch and hug and asked after it. When I explained that it was Robusto by Rocky Patel, she nodded knowingly and conveyed to me that her boyfriend, a Maine coon cat, Grey, smokes that very same brand of cigar when he finds smokable sections discarded on the ground, which is infrequent. Imagine that!:-)

Kind regards, Stessily


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

PDX - all I can say is LOL.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Stessily, thank you! You have such a way with words, you conveyed Augusta's emotions and thoughts perfectly, I can just see her eyes half closing in satisfaction - but they're only half closed because she is fairly intelligent and knows a good human is giving her something she could never do for herself, and so she remains aware and appreciative of your presence - I hope I haven't misinterpreted.

I really like her full name because it reminds me of a type of helicopter I like, often used in medical rescue situations. Let Gusty know she can invite Grey to sit on my porch and share a cigar with me. I don't mean to be racist, but I love maine coons and would definitely enjoy his company. As far as I'm concerned, I would be happy to buy him his own cigars from now on.

I am purring with contentment at your comment.


stessily 4 years ago

AM, Thank you for your compliment that I "have such a way with words." That is exactly how I view your writing in which you perfectly convey thoughts, emotions, scenes, etc.

Would the medical rescue helicopter you like be AgustaWestland AW139? I was intrigued by your reference to Gusty's full name being reminiscent of a type of helicopter often used in medical rescue, and Google gave me that name. Nice looking copters, copters with a good cause.

I love the way you described the reasons for Augusta's half-closed eyes --- perfect in every detail! I will pass on to Gusty your open invitation for Grey to share a cigar with you and even to enjoy his own --- Grey will be beside himself!

I, in return, am purring with contentment at your comments. There'll be alot of purring tonight when I share your comment with Gusty and then she shares it with Grey! All that purring could change the world.:-)


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

That model is close, but looks like the older brother of the one I know: http://www.travis.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/phot...

I know helicopters are completely unrelated to cats, but when I saw that name, it triggered the opening of a file because I love the looks of that helicopter so much. Maybe the imagery you described was so vivid that one good thing connected to another in my weird brain ha ha!


MilesArmbruster profile image

MilesArmbruster 4 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

An excellent use of making a slice of life come alive. Makes me think of how Jesus describes the movement of the Spirit with wind in John 3. You can't see Him, but His work is evident.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Very nice allusion MilesArmbruster, that verse (John 3:8) does fit nicely - although my musings are much less grand. Thank you for the great comment.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Alex you have a knack for these types of Hubs.. yeah I enjoyed the read and I too am a good cigar smoker.. but the ring gages have to be over 55... thanks for the share and your visits my friend


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Frank, thanks so much for the visit! I have no clue about ring gauges, are we talking about diameter? I don't remember if I mentioned it up there but an RP Edge is a good cigar for me. I hope you don't think I'm smoking Swisher Sweets! In any case, it is great to meet a fellow cigar lover.

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