Day before xmas, I’m at work and not writing in the office. I’m done with the office and any predictability from me. Today, wine tells me, teaches me, Truth. More about it and how wine is the singular most truthful thing I’ve encountered, ever. Driving through Coffey Park—San Miguel, Santiago to Barnes, saw a man standing atop what looked like a piled of tall tree pieces, or stumps. His hands were in his pockets and he looked down, with pensive structure and stance. Couldn’t see his face, just his right side and back. The truth of what happened in our neighborhood, inescapable. This fire, fires, were more than “wine country fires”… they were something else. Some animalistic and a reminder of life’s empirical truth. That we are all vulnerable, that time is not assured— Wine reminds us how short life is, and that all turns, blinks and breaths are something to be recorded.
Much of this morning I spent anxiety-tied as to what Mike was going to write. And, the drive, Chalk Hill Road especially, told me to be truthful. Be wine. Be all that wine is in its enjoyable fasted and sounds, the hills and how they extend upward behind this building, occasionally seeing one of the bison slowly stroll from one little feed to next. 08:51, and I have plenty of time to collect. Maybe not as much as I’d like—sure I’d love to have two hours at least to write and go through pictures, write a couple verses, and whatever other creative flicker I can form—but I have what I have. And in that I fly.
Can’t believe tomorrow’s Christmas. Time scoring another victory but myself as well, seeing my urgency to write intensify. Sipping coffee, already a temperature decline. Quiet in tasting room, hoping it stays that way for most of day. But who knows. There could be people in from out-of-town, just salivating at the prospect of going WINE TASTING. I see it every week if not every day. Someone either tasting for the first time, or tasting in Sonoma County inaugurally. OR, never having tasted at Roth. That is their truth. It’s around them and in every utterance from their mental seismology. The morning, intent to propine me with this sight, these thoughts, the truth that I’m here, working on xmas eve and I don’t mind even microscopically. I’ll taste through the wines when Hannah arrives, then note, note differently, see what truths the wines wrote for their writing admirer. Feel like Kerouac, now. Like HST. Like Shakur, Hughes, Plath, Poe, seeing everything around me as much more than wine and far beyond what it visibly narrates.
I pause for a second to assemble but throw self back at the page, this screen. Hoping for something with this new year, then telling self don’t hope for a thing. Just go get it, hungrily. Angrily. Truthfully. I’m truthfully frigid in this room, typing at the long polished piece of redwood tree. Then I hear the heater ignite, and the writer forwards more. Hearing the wines call to me, like students, or teachers, both. I’m looking at the seats around me, the one where I now station and situate, type, where my friend Brad yesterday tasted through the wines with his wife and this crazy wine writer. Wine is everything— she this morning telling me to calm, “Just be truthful about where you are and what you’re doing, what you’re feeling. What I feel… the book need be done. Ten days. Ten days, and ‘wine i’m here’ is done. Just a working title— but then I think ‘me wine pages and pages’ is more suited. Meditations catapults me into my day, further.. what is the book about? Me. Wine. And there are pages and pages. Résolu!
Just a step or two after 09:00. The winery when quiet has the same sensibility as a church, or a forest, somewhere for thought, consideration and self-measure. Just me, the heather and the sounds of the building, whatever sounds the tanks in the production area toss to my drums. I’m here, alone, for my work, for my pages. Wine…. You love me, it’s known. But what do you want me to do with your story, my story? OUR, story. Everyone tells me how much they love my deconstructions and “descriptions” of wines, the poetry I can’t help but speak, tell, confess. So do I do that? Do I just go one wine at a time? From the ’11 Pride Cab Franc that I had at Mom and Dad’s for Dad’s birthday dinner, or the 2015 Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay I had at the hotel? Or, do I just start with today’s offerings. The SB, two Chards… Pinot, red blend, then mon amour des amours, the ’15 single-vineyard Cabernet. Hannah who’s working with me today loves it as much as I do. Maybe even more. She sells just about as much of it as I do, and can’t speak about it enough. Only a bit after nine, and I want to start writing about our flight, here. I can always go back and jot about past bottles.
Empty barrels behind the glass, behind the bar. What will be put in them, and how will the characters develop? What will I taste if I were to taste from that barrel, when wine resides? More questions than answers but then I see the questions as answers. Or at least they lead me to them. When I started in wine’s business, or industry, at St. Francis, I knew very little about wine’s makeup and preeminence. I just knew I liked it, not even loving it yet, and could use my literary world and experience as a lens through which to communicate. Whenever I feel any block approaching, if I’m writing about wine or something else (though anymore I only write about wine…), I’ll talk only in immediate truths. Why couldn’t I see that this morning, stressing in the shower about what to put to blog and will I get to Mom and Dad’s on time tonight…. Life, curt, she tells us. So sip, look, smile, speak— More truth in yay-say than anything singing a nay.