Some Thoughts About Volcanoes, Emily Dickinson, Peat And Burning-Places, Martin Heidegger At Home With Tools, And William Blake’s Marriage While Tool Breathes.

As I write this the Stromboli volcano off the coast of Sicily has been spewing smoke, gas, bits of the inner earth, molten material overall into the air and sea.  Columns and plumes of smoke, mushrooms and horses’ heads speak primal warnings to us that something from below has risen.  Reminders that under the appearances … Continue reading Some Thoughts About Volcanoes, Emily Dickinson, Peat And Burning-Places, Martin Heidegger At Home With Tools, And William Blake’s Marriage While Tool Breathes.

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.

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.

A Drinking Man Arrives On Islay, Has A Pour Of Lagavulin, Watches Sea and Stone, Looks At A Thistle And Listens To Robert Fripp’s “Abandonment To Divine Providence.”

Water, grass, thistle and stones.  Rocks.  Arriving on Islay means close quarters with quartzite, limestone, slate and shale with many cresting intrusions called sills of metamorphic rock abundant through the southeastern part the island known as Kildalton.  As Andrew Jefford writes (and I’ll return to his wonderful prose often from Peat Smoke And Spirit) . … Continue reading A Drinking Man Arrives On Islay, Has A Pour Of Lagavulin, Watches Sea and Stone, Looks At A Thistle And Listens To Robert Fripp’s “Abandonment To Divine Providence.”

Eating Ulysses. Bloom Balls.

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.

Cherry Blossoms At Kungsträdgården With Tulips, Blueberry Tarts, Cognac And Coffee And The Art Of Fugue.

Blooming.  They’re out.  A glorious walk through the King’s Garden in Stockholm to view the Cherry Blossoms.  From a a fifteenth century royal kitchen garden to an open space for military drilling in the nineteenth century to pavilions with cafés in the twenty-first century, the Kungsträdgården features Cherry Blossom trees blooming and signaling the beginning … Continue reading Cherry Blossoms At Kungsträdgården With Tulips, Blueberry Tarts, Cognac And Coffee And The Art Of Fugue.

Roasted Spring Lamb And Veg With Several Calls To The Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Five hours roasting at 150 Celsius or about 300 Fahrenheit and Maillard Reactions abound as lamb bone, flesh and skin browns, fat melts and a wondrous dark, umami aroma fills the kitchen and house.  Carbohydrate molecules and amino acids change and change in dry heat as colors and taste merge.  Fat molecules with the aid … Continue reading Roasted Spring Lamb And Veg With Several Calls To The Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Spring Lamb With Roasted Vegetables, Agnus Dei, William Blake, the Tenebrae Choir, Broadway And Seventeen Years Of Therapy.

Spring lamb.  First born and first kill.  Three to five months old and now on our table, well one of its legs.  An offering for new growth and warmer days.  Flesh and sign of a flayed god and his ascendance into blue skies.  Once upon a time a celebration at the end of fasting. The … Continue reading Spring Lamb With Roasted Vegetables, Agnus Dei, William Blake, the Tenebrae Choir, Broadway And Seventeen Years Of Therapy.