Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quote from the Cigarette Century

To the Princess, it was an enigma why anyone would smoke, yet the answer seems simple enough when we station ourselves at that profound interface of nature and culture formed when people take something the natural world and incorporate it into their bodies. Three of the four elements are shared by all creatures, but fire was a gift to humans alone. Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it on back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to fee on the marrow of the volcano. It's not the tobacco we're after, but the fire. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lighting. Does that mean that chain smokers are religious fanatics? You must admit there's a similarity. The lung of a smoker is a naked virgin thrown as a sacrifice into the godfire.

Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker.
Quote pulled from the Cigarette Century