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.

Walking To Ardbeg With The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Words From A Whirlpool, Scattered Cows And Sheep, And Egill Skallagrímsson’s Drinking Toast.

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.

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.”

Ramen Noodles In Their Rameny World With Plenty Of Noodleynishnishness And All Flora And Fauna Swimming In Their Brothy Waters.

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.

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.

Night Of A Red Right Hand / First Postcard.

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.

A Conversation With Nick Cave In Stockholm. Raise Your Red Right Hand!

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!