Shortly after I got out of bed at seven o’clock this morning – and before the atonement of physical activity – breakfast was by contrast a gooey sweet butter tart from Beckwith Bakery and a squirt of THC/CBD from the Lieutenant Governor in right-of-the Province of Ontario. Terribly reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and laudanum. Devoting oneself so critically to one’s addictions. It was not only a brilliant start to the day but also a stimulating way to embark upon my morning bicycle ride.
Laudanum is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine). Reddish-brown and extremely bitter, laudanum contains almost all of the opium alkaloids, including morphine and codeine. Laudanum was historically used to treat a variety of conditions, but its principal use was as a pain medication and cough suppressant. Until the early 20th century, laudanum was sold without a prescription and was a constituent of many patent medicines. Today, laudanum is recognized as addictive and is strictly regulated and controlled as such throughout most of the world.
Every day I reconfirm my surrender to the limitations of life. It is however the talent of a defeated man to confront the inadequacy and thereby effectively surmount its indignity. The occasion for long-term planning has expired; we’re now talking only about keeping the machinery oiled and running. And I refuse to be confined in the interim by unfavourable psychological restriction. The utility of that bound of behaviour has been exceeded. What counts now is a “good cigar“.
And yet, in spite of endless warnings from his doctor, this obdurately rational man (Sigmund Freud) wouldn’t give up his beloved cigars, even to save his own life. Indeed, smoking seems itself to have been perhaps his most comforting and most loyal companion, in his mind linked to his creativity, even to a sense of inner wildness that…
Aligning oneself with what is both tolerable and favourable is a surprisingly keen enterprise. If performed cautiously – that is, with neither excess nor confusion – there is no need to disturb one’s surroundings. It is a private affair, very much an inner campaign designed to elevate performance to perception. What is increasingly perceived is the capability to enjoy life and living. Certainly the restraints of the pandemic have altered one’s view of things generally. The immediacy of social gathering for example is gone (though surely not forever). The thought of shopping is at present burdened with masks, limitation of crowd size and social distancing – not a particularly inviting way to undertake a sortie into the world of commerce. But overall the penetrating admission is that it is nonetheless possible to have a very agreeable though altered existence in this sphere of perpetual rumination.
With respect to the matter of retail confinement, the truth is that most of us have learned to live a casual lifestyle; and it requires I’m certain but a brief assessment to confirm that we haven’t the need of anything. Taken one step further, it is also plain that the possessions we already have warrant perhaps more attention than they currently get (pardon the personification of the beloved treasures). There is nothing vulgar regarding the enjoyment of art in its many forms; but it takes time to render movement to discovery.
My day today got underway at least an hour before I threw off the sheets and summer blanket. I pretended to drift from sleep to consciousness while awaiting the sound of the alarm. Had I set the alarm for exactly 7 o’clock? Or was it seven-fifteen? Suddenly I could no longer endure the pretence. At 6:56 am this morning I removed my sleep mask and lay prone, awake, waiting.