Breathe In Sanity

Maybe it's like becoming one with the cigar. You lose yourself in it; everything fades away: your worries, your problems, your thoughts. They fade into the smoke, and the cigar and you are at peace.
Raul Julia
Ever noticed how, when we want to paint the image of the old school gentleman, the picture only seems complete when you place a cigar in hand? Even the scent of those hand rolled tobacco leafs give a sense of dignity and elegance, of an educated wisdom of a time gone by were people would take the time to enjoy the simple things. Life moved at its own pace. It’s not like you could rush craftsmanship or agriculture or even travel. But the world changed, and now we can do more in less time. Those days of old are gone, replaced with of men rushing from one place to another, living in a cycle of “hurry up and wait,” suffering from stress, depression, and heart problems as the hours of the day don’t seem to be enough for everything we set up to do.

Aren’t you glad that those olden days are gone?

Yes, I know that we live in more convenient times, where we live longer lives than those gents of old. We have better access to, well, everything; as we hold the world in the palm of our hands. We live in a different world than our forefathers, as our world is now defined by the idea that time and money are interchangeable concepts. The more time we dedicate to something, the more money it will make/cost and the more money we invest into something the more/less time we will have to deal with it. So time became as much a source of frustration and anxiety as money. As we pursue one, we become constantly pressured by the other.  

And that’s where a good cigar comes in. From the instant you pull out that cigar and get your first whiff of the country, you need to stop looking at your cellphone, your watch, and your wallet. Everything comes to a grinding halt as you let yourself enjoy a moment of peace, where your thoughts start to order themselves out and you regain the perspective of an unrushed life. This isn’t chain smoking cigarettes that you puff into yourself as if you were being timed for a speed challenge. This is a burn as slow as how time should run when you don’t care how much time it takes to enjoy.

In a way, you get lost into your own personal meditation, or into pleasant conversations when shared with someone else. You learn to slow down your usual aggressive go-getter hustle that if left uncheck will drag you kicking and screaming into an early retirement of life. You learn to reconnect with your dulled out senses, as you let yourself the opportunity to reconnect with the simple pleasures of having a human body. You learn to let yourself open up to your own soul as you let your senses feel again, your mind wander, and your heart feel.

I know, it might sound bad my promoting smoking, but consider how a cigar can easily be replaced with a hookah, vaping, coffee, tea, a good spirit, or even a desert when done correctly. When I mean correctly, I mean you have can’t chug down that ultragigantico frapumoccalatte while running form one text to the next. It means you need to sit down, forget you have a time limit and enjoy. Breathe in the aroma of that scotch, or get lost in the legs of that deep red wine, or watch how that simple tea bag magically turns simple hot water into something more, a lot more.

As we get lost in the thrill of the hustle, or even lost in the routine of the rat race, sometimes we need to take a break and get off. We need to refocus and reconsider what we are doing, to reconnect with our own humanness. We were never meant to live to work and pay bills. We work and pay bills to have the time and space to live.

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