20 November 2009

20Nov - beginning of my ansel adams/pacific nw wines lecture
so december 1st i'll be giving a lecture on the above topic at the columbia museum of art, which should be fun. wines have been chosen, photographs have been chosen. now i've just got to write the damn thing. it occurred to me to get up there unprepared and just see how long i can go and still make sense but people are paying money for this thing so i should treat it right.
here's what i've got so far:

I recently moved into a new house. And outside of it, where I park, there’s a large maple tree. When the leaves started to turn they became a gorgeous yellow and green and every morning, as the sun streamed through them and mottled the car and me, I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I’d seen. It felt almost contrived in the colors and the lighting, as though I were in a sofia coppola movie. Every sunny morning I’d see this and feel this joy of being a part of this natural occurrence and every morning I’d think that I should take a picture of it to remember the moment and the colors and the feeling of being a part of it. And every moment I’d find a reason not to. Running late or I’d put my bag in the back seat and I couldn’t reach the camera comfortably. And every night i'd worry that it might rain in the night and by morning all the leaves will have fallen and taking a picture wouldn’t even be an option.
Timing. That’s the point of that story. The idea of timing is crucial in life in general but one finds it exemplified in so many microcosms . In comedy. In business. In love. And look at how important it is in wine and photography. Pick grapes too soon and the wine is taut and green. Pick them too late and the wine is flabby and hot. Take a photograph at anything but the ideal time and the wrong moment, a less powerful moment, is captured forever. But when things happen just right, you’ve got poetry in a glass. You’ve got poetry in an image.

We’ve all got different ideas of what a good wine is or what a good photograph is. But we’re all here, at least, because we share the idea that, on some level, we enjoy the works of ansel adams and or pacific northwestern wines.

So, as a general tying in of themes, I wanted to look at some of the similarities just in philosophy, as I see them. One of the things I love about the northwest wines is their relative freshness in the wine industry. They’ve generally shunned the ideas of globalization and the homogenizing of product by producing wines that speak to the land. Wines that aren’t aimed or targeted but wines that express and emote the vagaries of the soil and the weather and the region itself. The terroir, if you will.


that's all i've got so far. maybe i'll do a little soft shoe, pull a quarter out from behind someone's ear, hold for applause, and that'll be that. begin pouring the wine.

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