A moment of light and shadow, color and line, up and down, sky and lake, what appears and what appears reflected, all seem to hinge on the surface of the water or the surface of the air, take either one, and by taking one breath and falling up or leaping down, two worlds exchange places–the … Continue reading Bruichladdich Octomore Masterclass 8.2 With A Tasting Of King Crimson 1973 And 1974 Varietals And Plenty of Nosings From Andrew Jefford, Carl Jung And Ian Richardson Reciting William Blake.
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.
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.”
Tonight I’m going to attend a conversation with Nick Cave at the Cirkus Arena in Stockholm. Well, me and hundreds of others. Läktare höger, row 6, seat 636. Sixth row in the balcony to the right for a conversation. What will we talk about? Muddy-river preachers singing doom, while a woman in blue stockings walks … Continue reading A Conversation With Nick Cave In Stockholm. Raise Your Red Right Hand!
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.
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.