When I was in college we used to do inanimate writing assignments. It changes the way you think and relate to the world when you’re asked to come at life through the lens of something you’ve always taken for granted. Be it a graffiti wall or an abandoned car or a tiny golf pencil, when you stop over-thinking, you begin to see into the soul of the world around you. This not only makes for better writers, it makes for a better human existence.
This weekend a friend asked me in passing about the wine I was drinking, and I found myself wondering “why write about a bottle of wine, when you write on her behalf?”
The truth is that my Friday night wine came from a favorite vineyard in the photo at the top of this blog post. It’s a no-name winery straddling the cusp between Napa and Sonoma that most people drive right past. The vines twist and turn at the base of a little mountain that keeps watch over them as they bask in the California sunshine day after day, season after season. If the bottle could speak, I imagine her penning letters to her hill. And this is what I believe she would say…
I like you more than all my appendages and most major organs. I like you better than long weekends and sno-cones in July. I like you better than pumpkin carving and palindromes. I like you better than birthday cards and more than fresh fruit. I like you better than hosta leaves and first pick of the cinema seats. I like you better than thunderstorms and sunny days when they predicted rain. I like you better than peanut butter and jelly cut on the diagonal. I like you better than cello solos and every coin wish in the bottom of the Trevi Fountain. I like you better than the thesaurus and dictionary combined. I like you more than 1.618 which is a number that once had significant meaning to me but now I’m not sure why. It is cowardly that I say these things in this way, but I simply cannot hold onto all these balloons. So, instead, I am releasing this SOS in the hopes that one day, maybe, when we’re old or young, happy or sad, you will find them. And you will know that if presented with a choice between you and Orion’s belt and all the sun’s tea and a Texan bluebonnet field that went on for miles…I still would have chosen you.