Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hope is for Fools

I would like to take this moment to let everyone know that I'm still alive. That being said, the past couple days were really rough, and I was pretty much a zombie for a good chunk of the day. A crying, exhausted, angry zombie. I was given two PM shifts instead of AM shifts, and let me tell you that my internal clock was not down with that. Mentally I was cognizant, but physically I couldn't keep my eyes open. My body is still not happy, but it's my day off. Hallelujah. Other than that, work has been pretty much the same. I learned how to program Merlin, the Willmes press, which was interesting, and I've started climbing around on the tops of the tanks.

Brief tangent before I write about anything useful, can I just tell you all how much I love climbing things? Seriously, I think climbing around on things is one of my all-time favorite activities. I don't know if I'm necessarily good at it, but I really love it. There's something about having to coordinate your movement, weight distribution, senses, and place in space that I just find amazing. Supposedly I have (or had) some issues with proprioception (sense of where your body is in space), which is probably true since I walk into things often enough, but my equilibrioception (sense of balance) is pretty good. It's so easy to get into a flow state when I'm jumping around, balancing, and just moving that way. Oh, and although I love climbing things, I haven't done much climbing on the socioeconomic or social ladders. Ha.

Okay, nerdy moment aside, the past couple days were really rough. My body was disrupted to the point that my mind was also a mess, and I had a slight breakdown. Surprisingly, I'm not thrilled, but I will say it is good to be off autopilot, at least for the time being. And by good I don't mean fun, let's make that distinction now.

I moved here to work in the wine industry. It was a dream of mine to try it, and I thought that it could very well be a direction my life would take. I would learn the trade, live in or near the mountains, get a dog, and be a catalyst in the transformation of grapes into the liquid of the gods. Well, something like that. I considered other jobs in the industry but pretty much set my heart on going and making wine. I was going to test out to see if this was the path for me, but internally I was already banking on it being that way. I would have a path laid out for me, more or less, I would have more control over my life, a plan, a structure, something concrete to orient towards.

Something I learned earlier this year is that it's dangerous to hope. Hope sounds cute and fluffy, kind of like a wish, but in reality I've found it to be a risky gamble. You put yourself on the line, quite literally, and when you lose, you could lose big. It's kind of like with the phoenix, you die but then are reborn. The process ranges from mildly irritating to soul-tearing painful, at least for me, but it's always cyclical, never linear. You learn to live in a liminal space where you have hope in one hand and despair in the other, a perfect storm if you will. With the destruction though comes a chance to rebuild, reassemble, and create. Sometimes I think that this is like a maelstrom where creativity is born, a place of duality, paradoxes, and just enough madness to keep things interesting.

There may not be a point to this post, and I'm okay with that. Essentially, I've had to come to the realization that I may not pursue winemaking as a career. In the grand scheme of things it's a blip on my radar, really, but in this micromoment I'm upset that, once again, something I hoped for isn't as expected.

Or is it? Maybe I'm using hope as an end in and of itself, rather than a means to an end. I relied heavily on hope to get me through a severe depression, and while it kept me going, it may be that it's been more of a coping mechanism than an extension of myself. Maybe hope isn't meant to be something concrete, something nicely packaged in mental patterns and paradigms, fuel to be used. Maybe it's meant to be something wild, untamed, unfettered, powerful. It's a force in and of itself, and perhaps I need to change my relationship with it. Instead of using hope, whatever the reason, is there is the possibility that I could allow hope to be a natural extension of myself, allow hope to be and try to jump on board?

I guess, at the end of the day, I want to learn to be alive in the space where hope lives, where it thrives, and learn to let hope sustain me on its own rather than use it for my own purposes. I don't want to keep looking for concrete things, stability, certainty, control, whatever my whims or human flaws lead me to. I don't want to keep being disappointed, to keep running into brick walls and having to relearn the same lessons time and time again. I don't want to hope only to redefine my dreams constantly.

Perhaps I'll try something new. I'll hope to be as human as I can be, to be here in the present, to live fully. Oh, and to stop trying to define and categorize everything. Maybe.

So, no new definitions for anything. I do have a correction though, last entry I said punch downs help aid with fermentation. That's not necessarily the case, sometimes you will do punch downs on fermenting grapes, but its actual purpose is to keep the cap/skins/grapes in contact with the wine. Pump-overs serve the same purpose but in a different format. You keep the cap in contact with the wine for several reasons including color extraction, tannin extraction, and to reduce the chance of bacterial growth on the cap.

Cleaning inside a portable tank. I was happy about jumping inside a large metal box, not the cleaning (even though I'm a woman).

Punch down in a barrel.

This is why I love the fall.

A hike from two weeks ago. I was tired of being in the valley, so I just went up the side of the mountain. I do what I want.

I left my pants at work on Sunday night and am exceedingly amused by this.

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