Lately I’ve been feeling more and more compelled to write. Yet it seems to be getting more difficult, instead of easier. Something in me drives me towards writing, and has for quite some time now. When I was young, it felt as if I needed to experience much, much more before there would be something actually worth writing about. “Write about what you know” always bounces through my head every time I sit down to actually write something. Years ago, it felt like I didn’t know anything. That should come with age, right?
But now I have a task at hand that requires both technical writing and a bit of creativity to boot. Most of what I’ve ever written was actually technical (scan back through this blog if you don’t believe me), but that actually requires quite a bit of creativity to make it readable: as in, something someone other than me would actually want to read.
This project I’m on now is the most important one of my life. Half a century later and my accomplishments seem so insignificant. What can I do to “make a mark” on this planet. Our time here at the winery has actually made a bit of a mark; it is undeniable that we have become a part of the Missouri wine history, which is by default part of the world wine history. But what we’ve done with wine has not been terribly impressive. It would seem to take something rather outstanding or at least bizarre to really stand out in the history of wine. I don’t think that was ever my intent. The bar was set pretty low from the beginning: I simply wanted to do the best we could do with locally grown fruit. Our wines are passable at best.
So what is there then, for us to do, to really separate this winery from all the rest. Even the best wine we could make would only be a drop in the bucket of a long history of winemaking across the globe. Many very good wines have come out of this region in the 150 years that folks have been making wine here. It’s pretty heady to think that we could do anything that would stand out in that crowd. A crowd that’s getting more crowded all the time.
But how important is it to do something that stands out? Why am I so compelled to leave such a mark? And just what am I willing to do, and for what level of ‘markdom’?
I recently watched a new movie that portrayed the pertinent periods of Bonnie and Clyde. Their story has intrigued me for most of my life, and yes, it started because of the name. The movie had me look further into their lives and what actually motivated them to lead their lives down such a road of destruction. Destruction of not only other lives, but ultimately their own. But a documentary that is floating around the net was able to shine a little better light on the motivations. Particularly, the history of Bonnie and her upbringing in a Dallas slum, made me realize that she had very little opportunity in life. A statement she said in the movie, about Clyde’s brother, as he was mortally wounded, stated that he will now have a name that makes him someone. By going to the extremes of murder, which was really made them famous, they all set themselves apart from the rest of the population. What a horrid consequence, that seems both undeniable and unavoidable. We should not revel in the extreme, dark side. But yet, how can we not. How can we not be intrigued, but what drives some folks to create heinous acts? And why would you want to be remembered for that? You may be happy to know, that my drive is not strong enough to go that route. If I’m to be remembered at all, it will be for something that helped others, in some manner.
To recognize and strive for such a goal is really quite a change from my goals just a few (15), years ago. Kept secret all this time, but my original goal was really much more selfish, as I simply wanted to find a spot on the planet where I could leave peacefully and comfortably and with actually as little impact on others as possible. Such a goal has it’s own nobility. How much better off would the planet be if those folks like Bonnie and Clyde had shared such sentiment? But over the years, through the many wonderful experiences we’ve shared and been blessed to be a part of, my tune has changed dramatically and my main objective is now to provide a venue for like minded folks to gather and share special experiences as well as each other. We are so very fortunate to have the grand opportunity to bring both artist and patron together to revel in what appears to be an infinite endeavor to explore and expand the human experience.
We hope you’ll join us at one point or another!