Posts Tagged ‘wine-making’

The other night, I stopped by the home of a friend who happened to be making wine for the first time. The craft of the vintner! I thought of Chaucer because that 14th c. poet came from a family of wine-makers … I thought of Jesus who once told a strange parable claiming that we don’t put new wine into old wineskins — which, whatever the metaphor may mean, means more to me now that I have seen new wine being made. I was also meditating on this poem, “In Praise of Dreams,” which I read aloud on this wine-making occasion because one of Wislawa Szymborska’s book of  collected poems in translation was lying on the kitchen counter — thanks to Nick, who brought it with him when he came over to help my friend make his own Merlot.

“In Praise of Dreams”

In my dreams
I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

I speak fluent Greek
and not just with the living.

I drive a car
that does what I want it to.

I am gifted
and write mighty epics.

I hear voices
as clearly as any venerable saint.

My brilliance as a pianist
would stun you.

I fly the way we ought to,
i.e., on my own.

Falling from the roof,
I tumble gently to the grass.

I’ve got no problem
breathing under water.

I can’t complain:
I’ve been able to locate Atlantis.

It’s gratifying that I can always
wake up before dying.

As soon as war breaks out,
I roll over on my other side.

I’m a child of my age,
but I don’t have to be.

A few years ago
I saw two suns.

And the night before last a penguin,
clear as day.

Wislawa Szymborska
View with a Grain of Sand (1996)

I think our dreams, our desires for our life, are much more important than we realize. We often minimize their importance, both to ourselves and to others, and we are afraid that since we see them as unimportant (and because we want them so much but lack faith in them and ourselves), we shouldn’t really try to fulfill them or hope that they will be fulfilled. This is a completely incorrect approach to dreams.

Dreams are important, and they are meant to be fulfilled.

What dreams are crying out inside of us to be acknowledged? We need to ask ourselves this question and see where it leads us. First, I believe, the question takes us inward toward our deepest heart. Then, it takes us out into the world to change it. In the process, we connect to the truth that we bear the image of God in our souls, and we connect profoundly to our Creator on our journey of trust, faith, and dreaming … as we begin to see that the Astonishing One is “making all things new.”

I mention all of this, in part, because it was my friend’s dream to make wine for many years, and he finally did it, despite the expense and the fact any of us can go down to a local grocery store and buy a nice Merlot from Napa or France. He was not deterred. He was making something, creating something, and participating in an artistic process. And look! The effects extended beyond his kitchen into my life and, who knows?, maybe through this story I am sharing into your life as well. If you take courage and pursue your dreams, what joy might this not bring to you and to many other people, much greater joy than you can possibly guess before you begin? Your dream is inside of you, but it’s bigger than you.

Let it be born.

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