Feel like I haven’t written in days. Well, ‘cause I haven’t. No excuses. But this morning, much it tested me, prompted and propelled me back to my pages, to my book, to my consideration of wine which is always changing but with a certain containment. And today, here at Foley, not tasting the wines even a little, much I’d like to, but immersing myself in the story and narrative of every inch of the building— the view from where I’m typing here in the back room, looking at the Sangio’ vines and the Mayacamas Mountains. Looking behind me down at the barrels in the large hall which reminds me of a blend between an airport hanger and a large ship hull. The winery’s putting me back to written work, telling me this building is that I need to get more serious, be that “tireless writer” that I always boast I am. Stop never. Keep writing.
Not sure I’ll have a chance for a vineyard walk during my eight, so I’ll wait till I clock out. I will walk around the property but I’m not sure where and that’s just what I want. A lack of plan. Actually, a total absence of format or pattern, template. Everything in the moment. Everything. Why haven’t I written much in the past couple days? Birthday? Busy? Why did I wind up going out the other night with a friend rather than stay home, sipping less then switching to coffee— OR, not sipping anything at all, driving to Starbucks and ordering the meanest caffeinated drink I can summon. Doesn’t matter. I’m here now, writing, looking at every inch of this building, out the window in front of me and seeing the empty bins, the stacked racks for barrels, forklift.. everything around me tells me to GET TO WORK. Could this be the winery, the winery that does it? Well, it’d be this winery and a collection of other Foley properties, as I’ll be back at Lancaster next week, selling, for the first time in over five years. This is more than a mere full-circledness, some destiny banality or anything like that. I left Lancaster to work one winery, then another, then another, and now I return with more oeno-verses than I know what to do with. And this winery’s structure and outside surfaces and views remind me to not dilute or try to contort or even too much control my identity. Use what I have. What I am. What I am is a writer of verse. Poetry. Every image around me suggesting I follow through with what’s in place. Foley’s acquisition of Stryker and really not changing that much tells me I need change very little. I have everything for what I want… how I want to write about wine, how I want to teach and speak in other states and other countries.
Outside, where wine is brought in, crushed and fermented, made and cared for… alchemical directions and dotes, defying simplistic anecdotes while forming new formations of wined form, itself. Postmodern and pleasurable. I’m 38 now, I think I know who Mike Madigan is. I know I know. And this property, from when I arrived, a bit after 09:00, till now, staples a certain certitude which is not only enriching and profitable, but strangely spiritual. And I never use that word, or even allude to spirituality in my writings. Maybe I should start. Maybe that’s again another lesson from this winery and its structure. Standing on the back porch earlier, looking over the ridge where the Sangio’s planted, telling me something that I don’t know how to translate and deliver to this page that I rush-type over lunch. “I’m going to get to three pages for day.” was one statement made by the view from the back patio. Now rethinking, I hear it saying— “Doubt yourself too much more, and you’ll go no where. Do everything. Diversify, embrace your inconsistencies…be more wild with your writings and written practice.. finish your books, put them out there, don’t worry about selling them and don’t tell me you don’t worry cuz you do.” Where in the view did that voice come from? Guessing the Sangiovese. Had to have been. Maybe I should taste it once, small small pour when back in TR.— That bar, or counter, its artful structure and sternness also telling me I’m where I belong, this is what will send my books everywhere. I will always be here, in one content and flavor or another.
Ten minutes left in break. Look out, up. Olive trees. What are they telling me? “Look at the screen, not at us. You have work to do. Write!” I agree, obey, actuate. Wine teaching me more about me and facets of living that have nothing to do with wine. Things take time… but you have to begin the time, your time. Listen to everyone and everything around you, here. This is the gem, the long-begged trove of enlightenment and fortune that I’ve needed for my career, and life principally. I’ll go back into TR armed with notebook and refuse to stop scribbling, and if/when pouring for someone and educating them on the property, I’ll jot inwardly and internal while I listen and interact. Ah…. Finally. My IT.