Sunday, September 04, 2016

A day in the life (and death) of Nebbiolo

I had a dream last night. And in that dream I was being taken up a grand conveyance, leading to a large structure. Like something one would see in Napa Valley or Bordeaux. Or Piedmont. And as I got closer to the top I realized my life was ending. I wasn’t afraid, for it was time. I’d had a good life, growing in the daytime, witnessing every sunrise and sunset in this serene place. And where I was going wasn’t to my death, but to my next life.

At the end, it always seems shorter than when one is in the thick of things. There is always a tomorrow to grow a little more, take a little rest, put it off to another day. And then that day comes and that is it. Just like our human counterparts, who work around us, shed the leaves, give us more light, reducing some of us to give the rest of is more space to grow. But never more time.

This life was shorter. My forbearers would see September or even October. To me, those months are the stuff of fables. No, it was all over in August, just like that. Short and sweet.

And sweet it has been. I’m not really afraid, for I know I will go into another life with many more, making something greater than a simple measly individual existence. And that life will be, could be, longer. Yes, the days will be dark and long, and if we are lucky, cold. We won’t feel the wind or see the sunrise. Those times will be behind us, as we merge and huddle inside the confines of our glass-lined abode. Time to think, to reflect. But also to coalesce and to take the time to grow. I’m looking forward to it, for though I loved the life I had in the open, the next adventure is awaiting. I cannot, will not fight it.

Where will it land? Once I get to the top of this climb what then? Will it be painful? I mean, I’ll be already dead, so what discomfort could I feel? I will cease to be as I lived, but what will the next form of life be that I take part in? I’m ready, no doubt, but I also want it to be as good as or better than this one has been.

Who will want the new me? Will I be fashionable? Trendy? Natural? God, I hope they don't pigeonhole me in my new life.

Will I spend time in those casks I spied going up the ramp? I’ve been told it burns, to be inside one of those new little ones. I surely hope I am not inducted inside there.

The pickers sing; they sing of large open vats and ancient large casks. It sounds like fun, like living in a big city. I think I would like that. But I don’t really have a say it in from here on. I am but one of millions who leave this life for the next. We will see.

What happens when that cycle comes full circle? Will we be adored, photos taken of the bottle we live in with the label on the outside, like so many animals that, after being hunted, are posed with their murderer for some vanity photo? Bacchus, I hope not.

Will we be taken to a table in a dimly lit restaurant, as part of a greater celebration? Maybe a young man proposing to the gal of his dreams and opening us up to seal the deal? That would be marvelous..

But what if? What if the cork is flawed? What if after all this, we spend all this time in silent meditation only to be spoiled and thrown down the drain?

Or what if we are conscripted to spend an eternity under florescent lights in some store, a store which the owner, before he leaves and finally turns out the lights, also turns off the refrigeration in the room? Nights of hell followed by days of purgatory? Why, oh why?

Or what if we find ourselves in a wooden box with eleven others, somewhere in a silent dark, cool cellar. Better. But what if we are forgotten, covered up by other newer, more desirable boxes, only to find out the person who put us there, after so many years, has died, and we are to be sent to an auction house. How bad could that be? What if it is too late?

What if our coming out party would be with others like us? Maybe a winemaker somewhere, who has great passion for wine, has unearthed us, and others like us and has invited his friends to eat and drink and make merriment till the wee hours of the morning? That would be a wonderful life.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, no doubt. First we must come into this new life, this rebirthing process. And that, this harvest, is where I am at today, at the top of the moving belt.

Nothing above me. Nothing below me. So I leap off.

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