I’ve always been fascinated by smoke. Whether from a campfire, the censer at mass, or curling from a warm pipe (as in the classic tobacco pipe and not some monstrous, abstract glass leviathan that lurks in the back room of some “head shop”). The slow rise into the air transforms the typical quick mental state into one of meditation and reflection. Campfires have lessened in popularity, because fewer people seem to enjoy the outdoors much less than in generations past, casually tell stories to family members and friends, or, God forbid, communicate outside of texting in the electronic world.
Incense at Mass is used fairly infrequently, but I do have to say I’ve seen the use of it more in the last two years than in years previous. (A good sign, I would say.) Last of all, you rarely see anyone smoke a pipe. It was certainly common place through the 1940’s and 50’s but was on a steady decline until recently.
My dad smokes a pipe, and I think there is where my interest started. I remember spending time in my dad’s study while he watched sports or even played Battleship with me. He was usually puffing on his pipe, and I could always tell a change in his demeanor while he smoked. He seemed to take a slightly more wizened look, and his decisions were certainly not rushed (and neither were his answers to my inane questions).
When life is propelling us forward at such an extreme rate, what could possibly be an allure of something quite simple as a piece of briar with rubber or plastic attached to it?    I think many men are becoming counter cultural in the sense that the propulsion forward is reaching a point of backlash. Push me to make a decision? You will have