This blog seems to have been zigzagging on and off some trail. Not sure if it is wine or Italy, but for sure it is a glimpse inside the head of yours truly. Nothing is really bugging me lately, the usual issues of work, aging, family and civility, the same concerns we all might be facing one time or another. My intern has been ranting, but that is her way; youth has so many expectations of easy delivery and then they find out that they are beholden to the same powers of gravity and time as the rest of us. The wine business is plodding ahead; even in slow economic times there is always an opportunity to make something happen. I seem to be getting myself out on ledge from time to time, but like I recently read, if you don’t go out on a limb how do you expect to pick the fruit? So I ask for forgiveness if I can’t get permission; 'e la nave va'.
All these families, native born and foreign, assemble their fragile little kin and go about putting their lives in order, one step at a time. And it is through time that we find ourselves shifting and being tested by some of the adjustments. Humans seem to naturally resist change, whether you are Italian or American. Both countries are being faced with huge transformative issues that must be decided upon.
Tastes vary. The Italian salesperson of 30 years ago was faced with introducing Brolio and Bolla and Ruffino. Twenty years ago it was Santa Margherita and Brunello. Now it is Amphora wine from Friuli, resuscitated reds and whites from Campania, fruit bombs from Puglia and the Veneto, and extracted and alcohol driven big reds from Piemonte, Tuscany and Sicily. You ask for permission and hope like hell you don’t have to repeat too many mea culpas. But even if you fall, you must climb back up and move on up the hill.
And when the fashions advance so must this family of wine. In any event, looking back will always make it seem strange from another era; one wonders what made that wine or that clothing so darn attractive. And then one goes right on looking for the next pretty shiny thing.
Along the trail some of us stop and look back on a time that appears to be more desirable than what awaits us in the future. But how many babies have returned to the womb? In this Annie get your gun era, looking back at an age will always be colored by the lenses of hindsight. Don’t try backing the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria into the Old World.
And if we move forward, will there be mistakes made? Without a doubt. Just like those who came before us made. Sweet fizzy white wine from the Veneto seemed like a good idea, just like staying out all night with your girlfriend did. But it passed, and most of us moved beyond it. Every generation likes to think they discovered sex or red wine. “Those who forget history…connect the dots.”
And like those who forgot history, have they also have conveniently misplaced their better judgment about the sanctity of life? Is this reverence just something to direct towards the unborn? Our children, of all ages were not brought into this world to kill and die. When a society truly reveres life then they will value families. Managing their anger might lead towards a world in which we don’t feel compelled to send our babies across the world to do our misdirected bidding, in this time or 40 years ago. To value that unborn soul only to send one’s son or daughter to the gates of hell is something I cannot fathom. It’s a horrific trend in the time I have spent on earth. My Italian friends ask me what it is we hope to do with these dissonant concepts. I point them to their history and remind them they have not been untouched by the same waves of inexplicable behavior in a supposed civilized society asking neither for permission nor forgiveness.
And the torch is passed to the next generation and it begins all over again. Learn to swim, learn to drive, learn to drink, learn to love, learn to forget. And round and round and round we go.
A Republican and a Democrat were arguing about the American flag waving in the wind. The Republican said: "The flag moves." The Democrat said: "The wind moves." Back and forth they argued. Coming upon a giant duck, he said, "Partisans! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves!" The partisans were awestruck. The duck then asked them to get off of his diving platform; and a new Zen Koan was born: Nothing above me, nothing below me, so I leap off.