Updated: May 28, 2021
Cigars come in all shapes and sizes. Of course that also means they come in a variety of prices too. I love reading articles that cigar smokers write talking about the fact they only smoke Padrons. Or maybe they are a member of the, “Cubans Only Club.” Not to be confused as a website consisting of a “Cubans-ONLY” type of website that sells certain types of photos/videos for money… LOL moving on.
See, there are so many people that place an opinion of a cigar strictly on the price of the cigar. I can’t stand that. Now don’t get me wrong, I won’t smoke the Cuban Knock-Off cigars or some of the really terrible tasting cheap sticks. But based on what someone likes to smoke, I immediately judge those types of people!
Today I’m smoking an Isla del Sol by Drew Estate. It’s a coffee infused cigar with a sweet cap. It’s a cigar that the, “One Guy” who only likes sweet cigars (no worries he had to leave the club due to health reasons haha) would love. My point is that when I looked up the price to double check, it breaks down to under $5 for a cigar. And this one is a toro! I thought about writing a review about the cigar but I changed my mind. Instead I’m going to tell a story. Some of you may have heard this story, some may not care, or some may think it’s just super weird. But in the end you’ll understand the meaning behind it all.
It involves Greek mythology, a topic I love. The wild stories, and insanely creative thinking that had to go into these stories make them my favorite.
Today is all about King Midas. Now Greek Mythology tends to give many stories and depictions of the same person. This is because often stories of the gods were told, and only certain portions were written down. Then later when another person read what was written they would add their own flare to the story, creating a variation. Remember the Mad Libs work books? You would fill in certain words such as nouns or adjectives and in the end get a crazy story! Greek mythology is essentially the same.
King Midas was often described as a very handsome man. The son of Gordias, the man that created the Gordian Knot, the impossible knot that couldn’t be broken. (story for anther day…) However, Gordias was described in his early years as an unattractive farmer. So when Midas grew up to be as handsome as he was, you can imagine how confident he became comparing himself to his father.
As he grew older he became the king of Lydia, a large and very wealthy city. As he continued his reign he only grew more confident and arrogant. A man of his appearance, stature, and rank demanded a level of respect. Well one day the Greek god of the grape-harvesting, fertility, wine, and festivity, Dionysus discovered his schoolmaster and foster father had gone missing after becoming drunk.
King Midas ended up finding the schoolmaster and instead of casting him out of the city, invited him into his very own palace. He treated him with hospitality, respect, and politeness… even though he was an erratic drunk. On the eleventh day, he finally took him back to Dionysus, who was ecstatic to find him safe and sound. As a reward, he offered King Midas a wish to be granted. He asked him what he would like and since Dionysus was a god, he could grant him anything. King Midas knowing that the way to keep his power, and place in the city was to have mounds of gold, asked for a simple wish.
“I wish for everything I touch to turn to gold.”
Not thinking this through, immediately it was granted. King Midas was so excited, he immediately grabbed the first thing he could find. An oak twig, and a stone.
Both turned to gold.
Fascinated and excited, he rushed home to his personal garden and touched every single rose in his rose garden.
Every stem, every flower, ever petal… turned to gold.
It was at this time he called for a feast. He wanted the whole city to celebrate this amazing achievement of his. As he went to take a bite of a loaf of bread…
You guessed it, it turned to gold.
Tried to take a drink of wine… same results.
King Midas became furious, cursing out loud how terrible it was and he had been tricked. His greed had turned into the worst curse of his life.
The Roman poet Claudian stated,
"So Midas, king of Lydia, swelled at first with pride when he found he could transform everything he touched to gold; but when he beheld his food grow rigid and his drink harden into golden ice then he understood that this gift was a bane and in his loathing for gold, cursed his prayer."
It was that evening when King Midas’ daughter rushed into his chambers crying. She was disheartened that every rose in the garden had lost its fragrant smell. As she sobbed, King Midas leaned in to comfort her. As his hand grazed her shoulder, he watched the life drain from his daughter’s eyes.
A daughter of gold.
King Midas again cursed the gods, finally breaking down crying. He asked what he had to do in order to remove this dreadful curse. The gods found pity on him, and explained the cure.
He was told to go down to the river where the common people would bathe and wash his hands in the water. Being seen publicly in the common river with peasants was unheard of when it came to the royal family members. But wanting to see his daughter again, he went to the river.
Immediately after washing his hands, he went back to his daughter to hug her. The rigid gold left her body and she returned to normal. After that day he could no longer turn things to gold by the simple touch of the skin.
King Midas went to become a wonderfully kind king to the people he ruled. Eventually when he died, all the people mourned him and named a city after his image.
The lesson to learn from his is two fold. Two parts to reflect on and remind ourselves in our own lives.
The first is simple. If we let our ego get grow, we will eventually fall. We all know this but when someone comes to talk to you, we don’t like to hear the words, “humble yourself.” Sometimes we must take a step back, look at the big picture, and realize if what we are doing in our lives is benefiting those around us, or just benefiting ourselves. Check yourself.
The second truth is about how our lives will travel from good and bad, positive and negative, or happy and sad. Recently I had to deal with some really crappy events in my life. Up until recently everything has been wonderful. Every little thing going just the way I had planned for and hoped for. But in the span of 24 hours it all drastically changed. I went from all time highs to some pretty depressing lows. We have to remember that our lives will travel from one side to the other and back again. What we must do is look forward and not dwell on this negativity. We must push on to get to the good.
So as I smoke this cheap cigar I need to remind myself that its ok if someone wants to be, “that sweet kind of cigar guy,” or maybe, “the Cuban smoking kind,” or maybe even the discount cigar shopper. It doesn’t matter what anyone smokes. It doesn’t matter what other people think of me, or my image based on what I’m smoking.
What does matter is I stay humble that I get the opportunity to smoke these cigars to begin with, and that I should take this time to be thankful. I should spend my time smoking this cigar, being thankful for what I have and knowing things will always get better if I keep looking forward.
Who knows, maybe Ill get a wish like King Midas does. And if I learned anything from his lesson, I learned to make my wish,
“To have the ability to turn anything into tacos if I chose so.”