Outside in our backyard is a row of flagstones that makes a path to the driveway. I’ve been negotiating the stones ever since we placed them on the ground this past summer and now with winter in full swing and the ground frozen solid, I’ve been walking around them. Too slippery. They have yet to settle into the ground and won’t for some time. We had other flagstone walkways near the garage and it took many seasons – years, for those to become flush with the grass, dirt and stone that surrounded them.
I see this path every morning. Today, I studied it for a few moments just before I took Bob out for his walk. It’s very difficult to negotiate. Some stones are higher than the others, some are lower. Some flagstones are single, others are doubled. It reminded me of the garden work of the artist Isamu Noguchi.
“Isamu Noguchi (1904) was born in Los Angeles, the illegitimate son of Yone Noguchi, a Japanese poet who was acclaimed in the United States, and Léonie Gilmour, an American writer who edited much of Noguchi’s work.
Yone had ended his relationship with Gilmour earlier that year and planned to marry The Washington Post reporter Ethel Armes. After proposing to Armes, Yone left for Japan in late August, settling in Tokyo and awaiting her arrival; their engagement fell through months later when she learned of Léonie and her newborn son.
In 1906, Yone invited Léonie to come to Tokyo with their son. She at first refused, but growing anti-Japanese sentiment following the Russo–Japanese War eventually convinced her to take up Yone’s offer. The two departed from San Francisco in March 1907, arriving in Yokohama to meet Yone. Upon arrival, their son was finally given the name Isamu (勇, “courage”). However, Yone had taken a Japanese wife by the time they arrived, and was mostly absent from his son’s childhood. After again separating from Yone, Léonie and Isamu moved several times throughout Japan.” (Wiki)
His biography “Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi,” was recently published and after having read the book, his work left an indelible mark in my mind about stone and its beauty and its resistance to man’s encroachment to make it do what man wants it to do. Isamu worked with many mediums, but is most well-known for his work with stone and gardens.
Eventually I had to walk Bob or the inevitable would occur and that’s for the prairie not the backyard. But as I walked him in the wet, cold air I began to think how often I tripped over the flagstones because we wanted them there for a path. We wanted to control their depth into the ground, but knew that it would take years to have that occur naturally. Our weight would slowly press the stone into the ground until one day it would be even and the treacherous walk would be a smooth passage.
Maybe I was still sleepy but I can clearly remember that I related this gradual mixing of stone and earth with how a new cigar can be so similar to our rugged flagstone pathway. I show it to the shop owner and it sticks out from the norm, it trips, if you will, over those cigars that have been around for years and makes it difficult to walk a straight path to what I want to achieve, acceptance of the two elements to link together with the whole rather than always be the jagged edge of being new.
Will the La Jugada settle into the world of cigars? Or how about the Cornelius & Anthony, or the Padilla La Pilar No. 4. What will become of these new “flagstones” that have been placed in our path? Will we continue to trip over them and become irritated at their presence or will we eventually accept them as part of a cohesive cigar community and smoke them as we would a Davidoff, a Fuente, or a Leaf by Oscar?
Only time will tell. Some cigars will settle calmly into the ground, others will refuse to make the transition into the marketplace. Why? Is the ground underneath too hard, is the weight pressing against them too light for them to make a deep, lasting impression? It’s a path the cigar manufacturer makes each time he introduces a new cigar and it’s the same path a smoker walks each time he or she enters the humidor. You can try to navigate the new placement of cigars or walk around them and further trample what has been made slick by the regular convergence of man’s desire to go where he or she is comfortable.