I can no more think of my own life without thinking
of wine and wines and where they grew for me and
why I drank them when I did and why I picked the grapes
and where I opened the oldest procurable bottles,
and all that, than I can remember living before I breathed.
M.F.K. Fisher (Mary Frances Kennedy); this superb
woman was born on this date, 1908, at Albion MI.
She lived most of her early life in California.
I adore this woman … and I so wish that I could have met her and known her and traveled with her and eaten with her! MFK Fisher is my Alter Ego … Eric Cartman is my evil “twin” … but MFK Fisher is my divine twin … along with Elizabeth David, who puts a slightly sharper realism to my personality.
Unlike Ms. Fisher, I’m not a connoisseur of wines … I like what I like, and sometimes that’s Two-Buck Chuck! Any wine above $11.50 a bottle is a waste on me … unless it’s amazing! But I’ll tell you something: the one wine I remember with absolutely clarity is Wente Brothers Blanc de Blanc. It was crisp and fresh on the tongue and shouted (quietly) of Joy and of the Earth … alas, they don’t make it anymore! I will always remember that taste in my mouth. I felt so alive and blessed by Mother Earth when drinking it.
Ms. Fisher’s words are a parable of how ecstatic and superb Life can be … and should be. I choose to believe that we are all called to such a Life … it is why I feel so deeply wounded and saddened when I see how so much of the World’s people are deprived of what I believe “God” desires for us all. I’ve had the privilege of sitting in very simple Liberian and Brazilian and Mexican and Nicaraguan homes and feeling the joy and wonder of sharing food and drink and heart-connect with fellow human beings! (Thank God for my time in the Order of the Holy Cross for that!)
Ms. Fisher reminds us, through the image of her experience with good wine, that it is impossible , yes, impossible, to experience the fullness of Life without each other. We are made to uncork each other, drink of each other, appreciate the venue of each other, remember why we chose our friends, and rejoice in old friends … like any good wine, our friends are complex, bright, rich, gladdening of the heart, full of Life. They shape us into the persons we are meant to be.
Drink the wine, Friends. Drink the wine. The Breath of Life which we gulp for from the moment we enter the World is each other.