Are You Experienced?

The sun has long since seceded from The Union of my Santa Cruz sky.

Where once there were epaulets of gossamer light cascading down the low, shallow shoulders of my cloudscape, there is now only darkness; rivulets and epaulets, indigo and purple, the onyx and the ebony, the ether.

I try to put my mind to wine, but it wanders —as it should — into the vast, experiential other ethos; to the ethos of experience, the gatherings and happenings, the welcomings and wishings, the praisings and the mournings, the mornings and the evenings.

In my mind, it is a movie; Wine Noir. All smoke and contrast, where what is right resides alone in noble hearts; where one does what feels like right because a feeling is as lawful as a law; is as right as is a toast to all the world.

The stories I could tell.

Every letter, every e-mail, every phone call. My father’s favorite wine was Monte Bello. We got engaged over a glass of Geyserville. I bought up futures from the year my son was born. I still remember where I was when I first had the Lytton Springs; the war was done, and I was home, and it was good. For forty years now we’ve been married, and the ’71 ain’t half as good as us.

Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

I heard a chef on the radio, early in the morning, speak of memory. Vividity, Variety, and Story.

Heard a singer on the radio late last night
He says he’s gonna kick the darkness
’til it bleeds daylight

Will you come taste some wine with me? I am high up on a mountain, where the wet air of the ocean meets the dry spells of the valley, where the mountain lions chase the wingspan shadows of the hawks, where the rattlesnakes engage in the honor of the duel, where a flower is a home is a meal is a medal, where the sky could not be bigger, then it is.

I understand the myth of genies in a bottle, and the wishes that are granted.

I understand the faith of Piglet, and his message in the bottle, and I understand why Pooh takes it for granted it’s important. I was named after Christopher Robin, and I’ll rescue anyone, from any rain; the faith is in the bottle, and we’ll tell a gallant tale. And we’ll have a hero party, where we’ll serve straight from decanters; we’ll dip fingers in the sediment, and paint our faces pacifist.

This is how a mind ascends the ladder of a train that runs on tracks whose sole direction is to parallel the ocean. My Santa Cruz, my ocean, my wine.

Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

Categories: Geyserville, History, Lytton Springs, Monte Bello, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Tales

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