Local Heart, Global Soul

April 2, 2011

“Acts One Two Three”… The Essence of Life, Fermented for a Lifetime.

Filed under: Blogging & Writing,LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post is a direct response to Invisible Mikey’s post here: http://invisiblemikey.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/act-three/#comment-2580 a well worthwhile and thought provoking read.

You know when something touches you deep inside, when thoughts whirl and you feel the urge to write a Column instead of a Comment.

It would be rude of me to take over Mikey’s blog with a comment so long, so here are the final pressings of thoughts that came to me from Mikey’s post. The principles that Mikey outlines are very true and for me they have a close  analogy to the making of wine.

So here goes:

Acts 1-3… Kiwidutch style: Essence of Life, Fermented for a Lifetime

Act One: First the  vine is planted and the vine grows,  only years later will the vine bear fruit.  The grapes produced will vary in colour, sweetness, size, and beauty.

Some before harvest will fall prey to winged predators, some will break off  the vine in high winds  or succome to  unexpected frosts, some will simply never form correctly and are never destined to ripen.

Who gets what is never fair and never equal.  It’s a lottery that sees some taken moments before their prime and some not even getting a chance to start life at all. Nature works that way, and expects each of us to make the best of whatever lot we have been given.

Problem is, at this infant stage we don’t know that yet.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Act Two: In the wine process is the pressing of the grapes, some of us got more squished in childhood and young adulthood than others. Some of us decided then and there, that we were pulp and live our lives accordingly, no goals, no expectations.

Some spend all their days lamenting the “not fair‘s”,  “if only’s” and the “might have been’s“.

What they don’t realise is that even the grape skins and pulp, whilst maybe never destined to be called “wine” still have the potential to become Grappa, Oruj, Tresterschnaps  or Pisco after their slow start.

In fact, just like these Liquors produced from less valued beginnings, these people often turn out to have greater hidden inner fortitude and strength.

Out of the pressings of childhood can some the sweet juice of Character that will determine what we are in the future… in our young lives we add the yeast of adventure and sometimes a young wine, too tightly capped, explodes the bottle.

Some of us in Act Two start with the advantage of stating out as sweet juice,  but let negativity invade  our life, we chose to stop at the hurdle in front of  us instead of  confronting it, and getting the guts to made the hard climb up and over life’s obstacles in our path.

Often we will blame others or situations for our inaction, or bad decisions looking for any excuses to relieve our  guilt of not going further in the process.

If this inaction continues for a long period of time, it eventually  inhibits the process so much that the cloudiness of this new wine is destined never to clear with age but usually turns to vinegar and these people turn out very bitter indeed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Act Three: As wines we all start off as crushed together bits of nurture and environment  and started our independent lives with a less than clear start.

The ones who accept that life of all wines starts out murky, confused, indecisive and  ill defined,  learn that Life is less a few simple steps = result, but rather a process that slowly converts the youthful sugars of  character into the alcohol of wisdom, experience and knowledge .. so the bouquet of their life is the making of something beautiful.

This not only takes time but also patience, and as any home wine-maker knows, no wine can ever become drinkable unless the sediments are ‘racked off” periodically during the long fermentation and transformation process from cloudy beginnings to clear end product.

This ‘racking off” involves getting rid of old sediments, a letting go of old baggage as it were. Sometimes this happens slowly, but oft it is instead a major turning point in our lives that hastens the process of renewed maturity: marriage, children, responsibilities,  a sudden change in lifestyle, or a profound loss.

The racking off process is in itself a massive upheaval, emotional, physical, and sometimes entails great pain, but truly on the other side, after a time to settle and recover, a new clarity emerges that enables us to rejuvenate the process of turning more sugar of character  into  alcohol of  wisdom.

Some wish not to take part in the “racking off” process… they stay in their immature and cloudy state, wallowing in the dregs  of their life that they have should long  parted company from..

How we mature from there is up to us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some turn out  very well indeed despite initial low expectations,  high-priced high flyer’s can turn out to be mediocre with no depth and pleasure to impart, some are so dry that they suck the joy of the flavour out of your taste-buds, some are fresh and fruity as young things but give up and let the life run out of them with age.

Most plod on, knowing that some years of the process are better vintages than others… some bottles get lost along the way, carelessness,  pure accident or disaster, not all will complete the journey.

The “notes”  of Act Three that will eventually define us will be a mixture of our nature, upbringing and experiences.. spicy, aromatic, various woods and nuts, fruits,  some of us may turn out  full of bubbles, others not.

Our colours will be the every hue possible to our kind … but the colour matters not, nor the age or the fizz…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…  what matters most is the taste and depth that has been formed over the passing days and years, deepening and evolving  as the temperature of good, bad, indifferent experiences, storage and how temperamentally we react to what happens around us.

Some grapes are seedless and will never have the possibility to bear fruit of their own.

Some, as wine will be appreciated and savored, and some swigged without thought.

Some will become treasures, collected and revered.

Some were destined to last for decades  but most of us are destined  for the shelf life thought fit and reasonable for the “average wine”.

How we store ourselves and react to the heat and frosts of life will often determine how drinkable we are as time goes on.  Do we impart pleasure in life’s wider circle?

Do we give back? Do we appreciate? … or are we only concerned with the selfish bubble and fizz of life, thinking that that’s whats important and that it will last forever.

The wine of  “you and me“, being homemade, will always have a little sediment at the bottom of the bottle at the very end of the process,  no-one in their right mind touches  that, it’s the private part of us that is the sum residue of our making.

If the bottle is handled with care,  it stays there, wisely undisturbed, untouched.

One day, when it is time, it too will be discarded when the bottle is finally empty and we are each ready for the ultimate recycling bin.


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. I adore these metaphors! I’m glad you let the idea ferment until drinkable. It’s deep and flavorful, with beautiful color and the right finish of images.

    Comment by Invisible Mikey — April 2, 2011 @ 1:57 am | Reply

  2. Wow – once again I am in complete and total awe of your writing prowess! What a wonderful read and you’ve no idea how much I needed to read something like this. It’s been a tough week as I’ve closed my photography studio and only today, did the realization hit me that “I failed”. Not an easy pill to swallow for this Type A personality. This post, as well as Mikey’s post, have provided some perspective on the matter. Yes, I will wallow for a little bit, I think I’ve earned that. But (hopefully) soon, when I have some distance and the dust settles, I will pick myself up and figure out what I want to be when I grow up. 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — April 2, 2011 @ 2:20 am | Reply

    • Tracy,
      Oh No No, you are NOT a failure!… I have SEEN your photos remember? I KNOW how good they are.
      You are NOT a failure, you were maybe just in the wrong business or in it in the wrong place or time.
      There are seasons for everything and cycles of life too.

      Think NOT that you “failed” but rather be proud that you TRIED! (SOOOOO MANY people never even try!!!)
      Yes you may wallow a little, if we fall off one of Life’s obstacles then of course we can be bruised and scraped, even broken for a while but the plaster cast of time will mend us and after the time of recuperation has passed, it will be the moment to carry on, on life’s pathways.

      I can only send sticking plasters and Hugs, You HAVE talent, and talent and passion are never down for long. Take a short break and a deep breath… tears right now are ok, but the sun will shine for you again, be sure of it.

      Comment by kiwidutch — April 2, 2011 @ 7:20 am | Reply

      • You are very kind to me, Kiwi! I gladly accept your hugs and ‘sticking plasters’ as well as your very nice comments! 🙂

        I’m better today…time will do that for ya. I have many things to keep me busy and with spring (followed by summer) is upon us, so many things to accomplish. I’m allowing myself the time and open-spirit to accept what opportunities may come my way.

        Comment by Milkayphoto — April 4, 2011 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

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