Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Passage from the Dead Tree Scrolls

There’s a wine article sitting on my desktop that is going on four months overdue. It’s almost finished, just needs a little editing. It will generate revenue if I go the last step. It is destined for a newspaper; you know the kind a little boy used to get up early in the morning to deliver on his bicycle? But, for the life of me, I cannot find my way to finish it.

I have run up against a wall. Call it relevance. Or maybe timeliness. During this period which we find ourselves collectively in, I just find it hard to justify writing about something like a particular wine when there are so many more things swirling above us, this amplitude.

I really didn’t want to do this, not now, not when we are standing on a precipice. But it is exactly for that reason. I dig into my old world, and while wine is getting better, wine blogging (or writing, if in long form) seems to have regressed.

Oh, it isn’t for lack of trying. I still run down the pieces, daily. But I am reading less and enjoying it more. In short, even though many of us observe (and state) that we are in a golden age of wine, writing about it doesn’t shine as bright. This whole adulation thing is a pinata that needs a well-swung bat. Coronavirus pulverized it for me.

This is not a bad thing, personally. It was like an addiction. I kept looking for inspiration externally. Think about it, inspira from externa, it’s a dichotomy, and contrary to the laws of nature.

I say this with no intention whatsoever of throwing shade on folks out there who are trying to make a living by writing (or blogging, Heaven forbid) about wine. It’s just these past six months have pulled us all back, away from the breakneck speed of societal interaction to the extent that things once thought of as in need of immediate attention have been shelved and now just sit on a list somewhere behind other things which have reprioritized our daily existence.

And that is really the reason that wine article sits still on my desktop.

Two years ago, on this site, I wrote, “We pursue mastery and expertise but we often pass over simple pleasures which balances it out.

Which brings me back to that word – amplitude. Rather than the world ad partem, which, with all its waving and shouting and immediacy and importance consequent to our social fabric (and health), I’ve been inward bound. Part of it comes with the age, with the inevitable invisibilità that accompanies this singular adventure of being hominum in terra. Amplitude has filled my little island with more inbound duties, and they have become more immediate and more meaningful than writing a 400-word piece on the latest DOCG candidate from Italy. Again, with not a scintilla of denigration for those, ab insula, who are still necessarily or willingly engaged in the game, swinging their bats.

I know this might sound like someone waving the white flag. It isn’t. It’s the way the wind blows - the trees, the birds, the creatures, all the little things needing to be harvested right now. I cannot think about another rosé wine when the clamant multitude on the island calls for my hand.

If there is any solace in the isolation that many of us seem to be having right now, whether we shun it or thrive in it, it is in knowing you are out there too. I know you are in the Tuscan countryside grappling with these issues. And in New York City as well. I know you’re wrestling with it in the Pacific Northwest, among all the fires and smoke and societal upheaval. And I know you are wondering what turn your young (and old) life is going to take. You might be asking yourself about now, “When can I go back to law school?” Or you might be wondering what you are going to have for dinner tonight, somewhere in Verona, or Rome or Torino, or some fabulous coastal town on the Tuscan Maremma. I feel you preparing for the shorter days in Vedbæk. You might be in Sonoma, hoping that you can reignite your retirement life (or your career). Or you might be in Troy, New York, with what’s left of your summer peppers and tomatoes.

Wherever you are, on your own little island for now, I feel you and your amplitude. But for now, I must feel it in the passing of the breeze, or the passage of the sun as it travels across my enclave.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Marco said...

Thanks for your thoughts and words. As always you strike chords that resonate. In the late 60's I went to see The Doors at my alma mater. We sat on the floor of what was then the RPI field house. At the outset of the show, Jim Morrison said to the crowd that "if this is Troy, I'll go with the Greeks." At the time Troy was in pretty rough shape downtown. It was a wasteland. RPI's directions to parents driving their young 18 yr olds to campus deliberately avoided the downtown area. In the subsequent decades, Troy has seen three or more spurts of tentative recovery. The latest and most significant of these started around 2012. Then you know what happened.

Tom Maresca said...

You are growing philosophic, Alfonso, and I feel with you. Age and experience make one more inclined to relish the wine in hand and more reluctant to add more to the tide of prose that almost overwhelms it. I recall from my long ago school days a fragment of ancient Greek poetry that translated as, simply, "Wine, my son, and truth." I'll drink to that.

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