The Seven-Year Oath — Prologue

Two thousand, two hundred and fifty-seven days ago, pictures of hands began appearing on the worldwide web. Their depiction was intended to avoid intrusion, and protect the privacy of my subjects on their lounge chairs, by respectfully forgoing the possibilities of facial identification. And yet, soon enough it became clearer that hands are identity, as unique as faces; each of its own length, strength, with its very own curves, form — in movement or in resting, unique. To see a hand is to know the face.

Seven elevenths of May ago today, Smoke and Minds published the first of over 2,200 pictures, in more than 1,500 stories, about why and how a practice has led to centuries of spiritual, medicinal, and social living. Smoking rolled tobacco leaves and tobacco pipes have evolved from primal ritual to fine art, mainly in lounges which are less havens for the tobacco-dependent than they are gatherings for able minds.

Seven years!

A seven-year cycle is completion and transition, success turned initiation. Seven years embody an oath. It is only around the age of seven that the etheric body of the man is completely developed and installed.

This first cycle has included Sisters of the Leaf, in all their beauty, sensuality and wisdom. For the Brothers, there have been oddities, games, singing and drinking. Some postings have been about the very essence of the blog’s name, as able and inquisitive minds celebrate the wonder of conversation — introspective monologues, empathic dialogues, shared fanaticism, intimacies, battles, solidarity, alive, vibrant.

Completing this cycle in the midst of a most challenging 2020 global event brings about a constellation worth responsibly minding. Reflecting over weeks and months in solace for the sake of health and life preservation, focusing on our perspectives for the immediate and distant future, it seems inevitable to apply this reflection to the importance and role of visual and textual documentations on the celebration of cigars and pipes, and various layers of its enthusiastic culture, with strong considerations as to motives for an oath.

Herewith, on May 11th, at 2:54 a.m., two thousand, two hundred and fifty-seven days after the very first posting, I thank all the readers, all those who have posed, shared and inspired me these seven years towards the quality of my views, texts and pictures published to date.  For you, I have gathered some highlights, enhanced by yet unpublished and new material, hoping that the acquainted reader and the newcomer will wish for more. These will be posted over the next four weeks.

Enjoy!