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.”
Noodles, noodles, noodles. Ramen noodles. Food additives, sodium, saturated fat. No, not the healthiest nor tastiest choice on its own. Soba noodles. But I love the texture, the very noodleynishnish of ramen. Broth, broth, broth. Solids and liquids calling out for further architecture. China to Japan to the rest of the world. And then? Well, then … Continue reading Ramen Noodles In Their Rameny World With Plenty Of Noodleynishnishness And All Flora And Fauna Swimming In Their Brothy Waters.
Like a golden eye slowly cooking in a sea of red. Yolk and whites slowly beginning to bubble in a paprika-rich goulash. Think Sauron. Think an Eye of Sauron Yule Log. For five hours. Eventually the egg cooks and rests in a bowl of peppery goodness grounded with a chicken stock. Think of the beginning … Continue reading My Life With Eggs Since The Beginning Of The Year. And A Walrus.
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.
I take the long way to the Cirkus Arena. Walking from Slussen across Slussenområdet with its bridges rising over locks between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea, and further towards the Stockholm Cathedral, Riddarholm Church and Baroque orange and yellow facades greeting me as I descend into Gamla Stan, stepping cobblestone to cobblestone in black patent leather shoes, past ornate … Continue reading Night Of A Red Right Hand / First Postcard.
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!
Morning. Sleep with scattered images of pigs running through flooded woodlands on the end of a vast sea reclaiming what always belonged to it and it alone. Woke up and walked out before coffee to see what the sky had brought us. Water on all sides, but a slight rise of earth and grass has … Continue reading Remembering Harvey / Chapter Three / One Hundred Years Of The Same Morning.
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.