Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Assumptions of Perspective

I had a conversation with an old friend the other night. It became clear that we view the world in fairly different ways. And though I strained to find some form of common language, I kept finding our conversation growing more and more polarizing/distancing (or a different word I cannot find?).

I have certainly taken a different path than many that I have run with in the past. They notice. And I certainly notice. And I begin to make assumptions at each new stage, just like those who "stayed behind" still maintain assumptions. Try as we may (or try as some of us may), we cannot entirely rid ourselves of perspective, bias, or assumption. I'm sure most would agree with me on this. But we all have a limit on which aspects of our perception we'll allow to be criticized or deconstructed.

Yesterday, I came across this little 2 minute video from TED Talks. If you haven't heard of TED, you must check the site out. Check out this little video below.

I really do believe that the best way to move in new directions, get fresh perspective, and truly grow in a "whole" sense, is to familiarize oneself with a contradictory wisdom, approach, or perspective. And don't just approach it at a distance; try it on!

Some would suggest that this is a very slippery slope. And to that I say, Slide Away! What are you so afraid of? Losing yourself? Your faith? Your identity? Betraying God? Being disliked? Being wrong? Betraying your tribe?

Well, there are consequences for our actions, no doubt. But inaction can be more dangerous that fierce action in an opposing direction. Something I must consider daily.

I know that I will never loose myself from my subjective perspective...and now, more than ever, I can recognize that as the thing that allows me to be me. I am formed by a blend of my experience and (hopefully) some seed of person inside.

But to realize that I have assumptions can be quite liberating. So I try to recognize my perspective as just that: My perspective.

Perfect Winter Day

This has been such a mild winter, save a particular week in December. The buds are already bursting which is a little worrisome. But generally, I am very content with this beginning of 2010.

Friday, January 29, 2010


The salt air always revives me. I look forward to coming back soon to
walk the beaches and hills and contemplate...and be grateful.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I am in a good place. Head space, locale, lifepoint. I certainly wax and wane. Energy ebbs and flows. But generally, I feel good.

I have been reading a good bit more than usual. Brittian loaned me Klosterman's latest offering...EATING THE DINOSAUR. And while I'm only 20 or so pages in, I am reminded that a great many of my feelings/hunches about the world are shared by more people than just me. I love books that remind me of this fact: I am not alone. Though the guy is a total ass, I really appreciate his perspective and meanderings. My sister lent me SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS a couple years back and I liked that as well. He reminded me a bit of Douglas Coupland, but more ass-ish.

I have also been listening to a book on CD (er, iPhone mp3)...THE HOUSE OF MONDAVI. It chronicles the immigrant family's arrival to the New World, it's trek across the US, finally arriving in California's Napa Valley. And from there, taking over Charles Krug, with Robert Mondavi eventually starting his own winery which would later be sold to Constellation (the largest wine corporation in the world, if I'm not mistaken).

I have been taking walks every other day or so through the neighborhood, rain or shine. I'll take in a good bit of the book each walk. Such a fantastic tale of deceit, success, ego, and family.

Holly bought the new book by Randall Grahm (of Bonny Doon fame). It's called BEEN DOON SO LONG. And while I feel like alot of their wine turned to shit (as he agrees, even as early on as in the introduction!), I have appreciated their iconoclastic approach to the wine industry, scoffing at Parker scores and pissing off wine writers left and right. They also have grown (and bought) unusual varieties of grapes, made ridiculous wines, and had some impressive labels.

Seems like Grahm had a sort of wake-up experience and is now planting a small biodynamic vineyard near Santa Cruz and going to be producing much smaller-batch artisan wine. Sounds good! His perspective–not just on winemaking, but life itself–is very inspiring and resonant. I am reminded that I really appreciate those that push into this journey called life, trying things on, trying things out, changing when we can, how we can. Really pushing into the fabric of existence.

I raise my glass (er, cup of joe this morning) to 2010 - The Year of The Book!

BTW - Thinking of mixing wine and coffee, the Mondavi family drank their morning coffee in the old Italian way...with a tablespoon of red wine added to each cup. Hmm. Doesn't sound quite right...especially if you throw creamer in as well!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New TCS Project for 2010?

I continue to work on new tunes here and there, attempting to find some traction for a sixth The Cobalt Season project. Lots going on in life, so it continues to be a sort of back burner project. But still I'm moving ahead, slowly. And I hope to have something to share this year.

I wrote this little ditty as a sort of preface to the album. Well, preface is overstating it a bit, but...

Bullshit prose!
Pedantic rants!
What will he do next?

Perhaps build an archetype?
And universally beloved

Or show us the world?
Free of Empire
As it should be
But might never

Perhaps He will amaze us with complexity?
Juxtapose criminals and saints
The history of G-d

Or perhaps he will sink low?
Drag us down with him
To the ground
Near hell
Nearer heaven
Nearer us/we/them
Nearer me

Always me
Always me

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Catching Up

Does anyone else get a little depressed after reading a book (fiction, in particular)? The book is over, you put it down, filled with emotion. And then, in the days following, you find yourself a little low?

I do. I so seldom read fiction that I guess I really get hit by it.

Come to think of it, I felt the same way after the final episode of Six Feet Under.

Anyway, I just finished Children of God (Mary Doria Russell's follow-up book to The Sparrow...see previous post). I loved it. The two books a matched pair, vamping on similar themes. Different, all the same. Highly recommended reading for your 2010.

Now I continue with my prior reading list...finishing Tolle's A New Earth along with a slew of winemaking and wine industry books for pleasure. Oh, and to top that off, this year I've got textbooks. Yip, I'm back in school.

This quarter finds me taking Chem 104 and Intro to Viticulture (the growing of grapevines). In Spring, I'll continue with Chem 105 and Chemical Analysis of Must and Wine. It's fun to be back in school, but I am honestly a bit overwhelmed by the homework sometimes.

I continue to plot out what my future in wine could look like. Some great ideas being floated and this year looks promising. Stay tuned.

Oh, well, there's a baby crying...gotta get.