Thursday, February 17, 2011

Elegia di Nera

I pulled out the bottle of 2000. Around this time it was being born, right about that time we were watching her last sunrise, she was breathing her last breaths. The appassimento was only ten years old, I shouldn’t have opened it. It was too soon. But things happen.

What can one say about the last ten years that this wine cannot? In ten years I have lived everyday without her, thinking about her, losing her everyday I wake up. She is now younger than me, than all of us. She doesn’t age, unlike this wine. But like this wine, neither had the time to grow old, really age. And so, once again, something is in front of me, dying.

The wine from the Veneto. I was just there. I should have gone down to Umbria and visited her site. I’ll go in the spring, when the lilies are covering her spot on the hill. Now, I am relegated to the gloomy skies of winter, and this bottle of wine and my memories of a love lost to the ages.


Was it any different at nine years? will it be any different at eleven years? Or 20? 40? Probably not. One thing about death, there is no perfect closure. It is open and raw and seething and it hurts and it never goes away. Never.

But we have wine to sooth us. Bright, sweet, lively, filled with energy, ringing though our veins, making us lighter and brighter with it. Maybe a little calmer, a tiny bit melancholic. Read not further, you’ve already gone too far. Stop, surf on, dear cynics, this is my dirge.

Oh, there are sunrises and periods of happiness. There must be. It’s a necessity for survival. The butterfly still flutters, the bee still buzzes. And yes, there's a little honey and happiness too. One cannot sleep forever. Not yet.

Somewhere over pizza in Padova and a slew of natty wines, I got to thinking about the last days of her life. There was nothing natural about the chemicals they pumped into her. Anyone who goes through that knows. So what harm can a little sulfur in the wine do, in the grand scheme of things? And still there are those belted in to their window seats looking out at their last moments, dreaming of the perfect amphora, the great little vineyard with no chemicals on it. Those same vineyards, some of  whose cellars are terminally contaminated with pharmaceutical yeasts, never to leave the building with Elvis. And still we bark, bark, bark at the moon, at the barrels and at each other. And my little glass of appassimento sits half full, waiting for the bells to strike midnight.

Today my son and I will go to visit a new child, his little niece. We celebrate ten years of passing with a new gift of life. A new vintage. It will be a very good year.



In Memory of  Lizanne ~ Feb 14, 1953 - Feb 17, 2001

7 comments:

Marco Marcarini said...

"Peace, amico and be at peace with your thoughts and visions. These things had to come to you and you to accept them...your share of the eternal burden...one moment... but know that another shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy when the figure of God's purpose is made complete...
T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

Thomas said...

Yes, death never goes away, but with its departure it also leaves behind the vision of life that was, and as long as that vision remains strong, that life remains too.

Always peace from here.

From Your Mindseye said...

Beautifully said, Alfonso. Liz has been with me all week. I think of her every day. Her spirit was so alive, it is impossible to think of her any other way. I will share a toast with my chilcren when we unite tonight for the first time in 6 years. We will share our laughter and love with all of those who have left this earth before us, some way too soon.

Have a safe journey to visit the new life bestowed upon you. You're a Nonno now, enjoy the feeling.

Love, Sis

Brian in MO said...

Alfonso,

I thoroughly enjoy your writing and really appreciate your ability to express sincere emotion. This particular post brought emtoions within myself to the surface...and, although those feelings are a result of losing loved ones, somehow they become more subdued knowing others like yourself continue on while never fogetting. I'm certain that your gal was "one of a kind", my friend. Please continue to do just what you do, thanks.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks everyone. I've been traveling and had a meeting or two and not been online. Appreciate all the kind words and thoughts.

wineracks said...

A beautiful post, really beautiful, thanks

Do Bianchi said...

A beautiful post and tribute, Alfonso. I was with you that night over pizza...

Gram Parsons wrote, "the sun comes up without her/it just doesn't know she's gone."

And so it is...

We love you, man... And we love her, too... She is in our hearts as in yours...

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