We’re told where we’ll end up. In the warehouse surrounded by oak barrels aging smoked, fermented and distilled barley. We’ll gather in a half circle facing our tour guide as she tells us what’s about to pass our lips. Crossing through doorways, entering rooms and worlds we usually don’t see, usually don’t walk into and … Continue reading Turning And Turning In The Ardbeg Labyrinth, While Mulling Over Psychoanalysis And Alchemy, Distillation And Nuages, Yeast And An Equation, Pacific Northwest Forests And Weird Sisters, W.B. Yeats’ Visions, Haggis And Neeps, And Finally A Snake Devouring Its Own Tail Grooving To Funkadelic.
Four mile trip from Port Ellen to Ardbeg distillery. We’re walking from our cottage northwest of the town, so add another half mile. We start in pastureland bordered by conifer plantations. Sheep graze outside the window in the morning, and further on cattle graze and gaze. Smell of pine resin, manure and sea salt as … Continue reading Walking To Ardbeg With The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Words From A Whirlpool, Scattered Cows And Sheep, And Egill Skallagrímsson’s Drinking Toast.
Though James Joyce’s Ulysses properly begins with, Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: —Introibo ad altare Dei . (3) … Continue reading Eating Ulysses. Bloom Balls.
Storm coming. Storms having come. We made the decision not to leave the house, not to pull out on the highway in my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier loaded with ourselves and the cats. I strapped myself to the iron fence like Ahab lashed to the great whale. Catastrophe in the air. What would the night bring? … Continue reading Remembering Harvey / Chapter Two / Pulled Pork And Gin.
Drinking Houston means great beer, spirits and wine procured at Premium Draught and Spec’s. And the great Islay pour I first experienced at Warren’s Inn in Old Market Square downtown, remains the great dram I pour in my library. Ah, Laphroaig! Especially the Cask Strength. Drinking Houston with books has been a mainstay for me … Continue reading Drinking Houston
Give this day O Lord to Sister Doris Engelhard who crafts beer 80,000 gallons annually, as brewmaster at Mallersdorf Abbey in Germany. Contrary to my thoughts on the distance of God in my last post, Sister Doris speaks of a close relationship with the Almighty. She always felt that she had an intimate relationship with God. “I have … Continue reading Nuns Brew And Drink Getting Closer To Thee, Though Not Quite Close Enough, And Thoughts on Woman Made in God’s Image . . . Or Is That God Made In Woman’s Image?
Another Eduard von Grützner painting and another pour of beer. He’s a happy looking monk isn’t he, well so am I, and so are bishops, monks don’t just have all the fun. And yet when it comes to reaching the Lord, of course, he, she, it, them remain forever out of reach despite voices in our … Continue reading Bishop’s Barrel #21 Lifts Me To Heaven, While God Remains Ever Out Of Reach. Part Two:Wings.
A.E. Housman in “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff” from A Shropshire Lad has much wisdom to impart, but none of more magnitude and maltiness than the above lines; while Eduard von Grützner oil painting of Monks Drinking Beer In A Cellar portrays our current post out quite nicely–beer and God. Let’s start down below; let’s start with … Continue reading “And Malt Does More Than Milton Can To Justify God’s Ways To Man:” Theological Speculation With Many Great Brews. Part One: Death And Kokytus.
A pulling back of skin and forceps on flesh reveal an inner world of the human body in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Anatomy lessons entertained curious spectators throughout Europe from the sixteenth into the nineteenth century. Such spectacles danced the edge of the sacred and profane as worlds under the skin … Continue reading The Anatomical Theater Of Anthony Bourdain
Been away from Empires, Cannibals and Magic Fish Bones longer than I anticipated, but I’m back for the last day of 2017 as a pork belly marinated in honey and molasses smokes outside and I listen to King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man on the Live in Chicago CD (a Christmas gift from my daughter … Continue reading Happy New Year’s Eve And The Indiana Book Of The Dead.