FF – The Art of Conversation

Thank you Ted Strutz for this photo. You can check out his blog here: https://tedstrutz.com/

The Art of Conversation

“I love talking.” Mum would say, “And he listens better now, especially when he’s got his pipe.” A lifelong non-smoker, Mum had cleaned and refilled that pipe every day since Dad’s death, then placed it unlit on top of the blue carved box that held his ashes. A habit of devotion.

Maria stared at the pipe and box and wondered what she should do with them now. Should she add Mum’s ashes to the box, or scatter them somewhere together?

Maria emptied the pipe into the bin. The tobacco smelled like Mum. She opened the pouch to fill it again.


Filed under Friday Fiction

42 responses to “FF – The Art of Conversation

  1. Loved the repeating pattern

  2. Ah Jen, you bring the family rituals to life here.

  3. I wonder if she will wake up one day and realise she’s forgotten to refill that pipe, and then does she stop altogether?

  4. What a tender story of comfort through ritual – – Loved it.

  5. Love preserved in tobacco 🙂

  6. She will keep doing it until she no longer needs to. What a lovely circular tale, Jen.

  7. In the words of Funkadelic “Keep on Keeping on” Good stuff, i’m hoping she’d light the pipe thoughtfully to mull this conundrum over…

  8. A lovely tale, perhaps with old habits repeating themselves, for a while at least.

  9. Dear Jen,

    “He listens better now.” Very telling line. Ah family. Well done with pathos and whimsy.



    • Thank you! I wondered if anyone would pick up on that line – the love and frustration that mingle in so many couples, so it’s sometimes hard to know where one ends and the other begins.

  10. Keeping the memories alive. Nicely done.

    My story!

  11. Quite a nice tradition! I wonder how many generations it will see?

  12. As I was in my closet this week… I opened a box and out wafted a smell of cigarettes. I instantly thought of Mom… the box contained the deed to her cemetery plot…

  13. A hauntingly beautiful story of enduring love.

  14. Passed on to daughter from mother. I like that … “A habit of devotion.” A beautiful story, Jen!

  15. A cleverly written story about the way memory can become ritual. Nice one!

  16. One of those stories it gives you a chill when you read the last line.

  17. Michael Humphris

    I liked what you wrote, for me tobacco pipes do carry strong memories,

  18. This is very well done. Compelling whole story in a few words. Well done!

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