“Meanwhile, in this blink of existence bookended by nothingness, we busy ourselves with
survival and with searching for beauty, for truth, for assurance between the bookends. The
feeling of that search is what we call meaning. Suffering — biological and psychological, in
private and en masse — has always accompanied our species, as it has every species. But we
alone have coped by transmuting our suffering into beauty, by making symphonies and
paintings and poems out of our fragility — beauty that does not justify the suffering, but
does make it more bearable, does help the sufferers next to us and after us, in space and in
time, suffer less, in ways the originating consciousness can never quantify in the receiving,
never estimate their reach across the sweep of centuries and sufferings.”
“We are in for one surprise after another if we keep at it and keep alive. We can build
structures for human society never seen before, thoughts never thought before, the music never heard before.”
From: Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony – Lewis Thomas.
YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL
But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it in August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia,
grateful for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy,
for towels sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,the dream of Egypt,
the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa.
And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond of your childhood,
the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.
– Barbara Ras
We picked our last grapes and olives of the 2020 harvest on Thursday 19 March 2020.
It was a happy and extremely busy harvest – the grapes ripened timeously and the olives were a bit earlier than usual. Kleinood was filled with the bustle and excitement that comes with each new harvest – laughter and banter in the vineyards, the sound of picking crates on the tractor and trailer bringing the grapes to the winery, the smell of ripe grapes in the air, the colour and texture of pressed juice and skins, the aroma of fermenting grapes, machinery and human hands working together and the intense relief and joy with every successful vintage.
Winemaking is wind, rain, sun, and soil mysteriously absorbed by the vine to become grapes that we, through the fine balance between magic and science manipulate to become a thing of beauty in every sense of the word.
For now, Kleinood is eerily quiet. But this time of uncertainty is also a time for reflection and rebooting – time for looking back, fixing mistakes and re-inventing new beginnings. It takes time and patience and when the world is ready, Kleinood will have joined hands with nature to create all beauty and magic we are able to, for as long as we may.
Goodbye and God bless,