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I became accustomed to change very early on in my life. A case could be made for the penchant for relocation gene coming from my parents, who both traveled extensively. The changes in my life happen so fast it seems, that I have focused more on acclimating rather than lamenting. Acclimation to change comes at a cost, a lack of a deeper desire to hold anything sacred. The only memories become the ones you can remember.

When I met a great mentor in wine recently, he told me that his whole career could be summed up with one word, “Agony.” I told him I would say the same of my short career; I think that is why I am drawn to viticulture. Every step along the path from sunlight to wine involves some sort of sacrifice. The vines, forced to grow a certain way, reduced only to produce so many berries, and finally to have them taken, harvested. I seek the agony though, almost as if through experiencing the worst I can be without fear.

So much change comes at a price, yet we are all paying with our lives anyway. Paying the meter attendant until we run out of quarters.

There is a stare that I believe to be genetic, coming from my father’s mysterious side. It is almost like the eyes are disconnected from the brain for a time, like you have in your mind pressed rewind (or hit the back button) and are now watching life from an earlier state. Sometimes I will catch myself staring, my father would notice it and always say, “did you have a nice trip?”

When I come back, when I return from the vacation I remember the work.

Work can distract you from life. Work can keep you from noticing your fireplace, it dwindles no matter if you build empires in the sand or the sidewalk.

Work is solace, it is the choice to go on fighting rather than begging.

I spend so much time staring, on those little trips looking into the past and future of things, people, and institutions. I can’t ignore the fact that it takes inferno-like desire to build empires. Yet I cannot blind my ambition nor can I rid myself of it, because it is a part of me. I can’t escape the frequent feelings on the futility of action, I can just distract myself – with more work.

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