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By: Wayne Brown
The smoke from my cigar curls slow up toward the rotating ceiling fan that stirs the air on my patio. It’s sunset. The western sky is streaked in blues, orange, and pink as the sun gradually sinks below the far horizon. I draw on the cigar and exhale it slowly as I reach for my brandy snifter too long neglected on my patio table. The first sip mixes with flavor of the cigar in my mouth and leaves behind a warm glowing burn as I swallow.
I am doing nothing essentially but my mind is racing through a myriad of information. Sampling, comparing, underlining, revisiting, not staying with any one subject very long but definitely covering a lot of ground with purpose as I take inventory of my day, my life here among the natives. Do I have a purpose here or is this just time ticking off the clock while I await the horn blast that signals the end of the game?
The nobler side of my ego wants to think that I have a special mission, that everyone has a reason to be here. I sample the cigar once again and feed more smoke to the twirling ceiling fan. The sip of brandy gives me the feeling that I am on to something. I toss back the snifter for another turn and leaned back in my chair to contemplate my existence.
Folks say that ‘you got to have faith’. Everything will work out if you just have faith. Okay, but faith in what I might ask? Is it religious faith? Is it faith in self? Is it faith that someone else will take care of things thus I do not need to make plans? ‘Yes’ they say. It’s all that and more. Well, so much for a straight answer.
Faith for me is that thin thread by which mankind hangs in the abyss between sane and insanity, between lights out and a life in the hereafter. Faith keeps us from going crazy with worry when we come to the conclusion that what we see is all we get. There is nothing after this, only endless darkness and quiet or possibly that sound that use to come out of the old black and white televisions when the stations signed off the air at midnight and the Indian head came on. You know that constant low level mono-tone. Faith is hope that there is more than that. We take comfort in convincing ourselves that is the case. In doing so, we avoid the chaos and insanity of mass desperation.
The cigar ash is getting a bit long as the smoldering fire burns evenly down its slender shaft. I admire its color, texture, and compact layering. Cigars are a world far removed when it comes to smoking. They are to be savored and assimilated into the senses. The aficionado becomes one with the cigar selecting only the best and the brightest; tenderly preparing it for consumption; igniting the tobacco without ever touching the flame. Ritual is as strongly entrenched into the cigar smoker as religion is into the priest.
Another sip of the brandy changes the direction of thought allowing the cigar to continue in its ritualistic solitude sending it curling smoke skyward as an offering to the gods. I’ve been around a few years now. Do I know my life’s purpose? No, I cannot guess. But, I do believe in fate, I think. That might be a leap but I think there is a connection. We don’t know our purpose but fate intervenes.
You meet the right girl, get the job you really like, find out you have a knack for something and it all happens because fate intervenes and creates a set of circumstances which make it all happen. In hindsight, you can see fate’s hand at work in so many areas. Yes, I think I can make the leap…fate must guide purpose I think as I swallow the brandy and feel the glow.
I think that I am finally getting somewhere. I have faith that fate will intervene and cause me to find my life purpose. I need not have fear that I will wander aimlessly through the deserts of the time that encompasses my life span without direction. Fate will intervene. If I have faith in that point, my sanity is protected. My urgency to create my purpose is relieved. I no longer have to race the clock. I simply need to wait for fate to guide my hand. I reach for the brandy once more amazed at how well it has cleared the clouds that blinded my thinking or was that just the smoke from the cigar. I wonder.