Thursday, March 29, 2012

Death of a Poet

In celebration of Women's History month, we poetically pay tribute to Adrienne Rich, a highly honored feminist poet who just died at 82 years of age. She was best known for her deeply personal poems and bitting social commentary. She was also credited as being a force in the feminist movement.
A poet has died, her pen and mind now stilled,
No more shall we receive her words and thoughts so skilled.

Though surely her passing creates a void so very hard to fill,
She’s left behind a treasure trove that we can find at will.

Her pain, her angst, her love and loss, her vision and her rage,
Can be found in many forms neatly preserved on every page.

Words are forever and really have no time,
Whether written straight, in sonnet, prose or rhyme.

What’s left behind for us who care when a poet dies,
Is all her words that helped us see where the real truth lies.

Death comes to all, the mighty and the small,
But what would life be if our poet had never spoken at all?

Words in any form are powerful, and in these times of cognitive dissonance, political undertones meant to divide us and an outright perpetuation of untruths, it is encouraging to see an earnest life so celebrated. She will live on in our memories/histories. What kind of mark are you leaving behind?


Photo by Mattox (Poland) Entitled: "Writing"


Monday, March 12, 2012

Wine & Life

I make wine at home as a hobby.  It is a wonderful process and much attention to detail is needed.  There are steps, time frames and measurements to follow, as well as some instinctual observations; all of which impact the end result.  In that way, making wine is much like life.

In order to start out well in making wine, preparation is the key.  As in life, you need the right tools to begin and to move forward.  In the case of wine, items used at each step need to be sanitized and functional; and timing is everything.

The juice of the grapes is mixed with water and yeast is added to convert the sugar to alcohol.  The primary fermentation lasts for 5 to 7 days.  The liquid must be kept at a temperature of between 72 and 78 degrees.  Once the specific gravity of the liquid has reached 1.010, it is racked (or transferred by siphoning) into a secondary fermentation vessel, or carboy.  After another 10 days, in the same temperature environment, the specific gravity must be at 0.996 before clarifying agents are added to the liquid.  Another eight days are needed for the liquid to clear into what now looks like wine.  The wine is then racked again leaving all the cleared sediment behind and sits in the carboy for another 14 days.

After that last 14 days, bottling can occur.  Once bottled and corked, the bottles stand upright for three days to let the cork set and then on their sides for three months when the wine is ready to be consumed. How the wine is treated from that point on can effect its quality in terms of shelf life, drinkability, and its overall status as a wine.

It can be said, and compared, that the care and nurturing of the wine through this delicate process mirrors the stages of life from birth, childhood, adolescence on through adulthood.  At each stage something done or not done can determine the success of the next stage, and ultimately the final outcome, either of the wine or a person.

We get out of life what we put into it, and it is best if we can ever so briefly get a chance to taste the result and proclaim, for all to hear, “Slainte!”  L.S.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Are you Grateful - TODAY?

Hello World...

Today is a great day! I plan on making it even better if that is at all possible. If you live in the NYC area, you must think me crazy, but as the rainfall continues, I am reassured of one very important thing. I am alive and well.  As a nation and a people we are super rich in that we have busy lives and little inconveniences are well -  inconvenient. But I try to pull myself away from thoughts of petty annoyances and welcome my thoughts of gratefulness.

  • I am grateful for waking up this morning.
  • I am grateful for my cold, as I could have worse ailments.
  • I am grateful for the love of my family, because it is the most important thing in my life.
  • I am grateful that my rambunctious kids are screaming at each other, as it means they are healthy and interacting with each other.
  • I am grateful for the rain, as it cleanses and encourages growth.
  • I am grateful for my job, as there are many folks standing on the employment line.
  • I am grateful for living in America, where my choices are free.
  • I am grateful for all the lives that were spared during this weeks natural encounters around the world, as it could have been much much worse.
  • I am grateful to spend time washing dishes or doing laundry, it means I have food choices and lots of clothes.
  • I am grateful for falling into bed at night from sheer exhaustion, as it means I am not complacent.
  • I am grateful for the ability to complain about every trial and tribulation, because it means I am human.

Well, I will stop there as I am sure you get the picture. A sunny outlook can have a major effect on a rainy day, so if your feet touch the floor every morning, rejoice in your good favor. Go out and splash in a puddle, or sit and hug your family or goldfish - Life is Good - all the time. I plan to make my rainy day ridiculously amazing - how about you?

With Much Love and Abundant Blessings,

Photo by Fran Flores of Singapore: Raindrops

Update: by the time I finished this blog, it stopped raining - the power of positive thinking/vibrations - LOL.