The Wine of Creation

After we create something–story or image, song or poem, project or initiative–we store it like fine wine in some earth-smelling cellar of our minds. We cork it and let it age where no one is to step for many years. Though that wine may very well live in the world–published as a story, or sold as art, or put into action as an initiative–for the creator, it has been stored away in the unconscious. The aging in the cellar allows meaning to take hold independent of the act of creation. The thing changes even as it does nothing. Its essence concentrates, free of the tyranny of its maker.

And then, at some uncertain time, the hatch opens and the maker steps down into the cellar and it all comes back to him: the feel of the unpressed grapes, the sound of the press and the trickling juice, the aroma and struggle to make something from nothing, the beauty of the finished thing.

And the dust is swept off. The maker is now observer, even as he always was both. He begins to both construct and reconstruct the meaning of the piece–the shape of the bottle, the colors of the label, the vintage and earth that it was grown in–and what is recreated in the observation is both linked and separate from what was formed in the moment of creativity. He takes on new power and (re)writes the making of the thing in a way that is both old and new. He tips out the rich redness and drinks in the work and the cycle begins again: the eternal act of observation-creation. The eternal moment that contains both.

And yeah, sometimes he spits it out and looks at the label and realizes the wine is crap. And then he wishes he never spent the time creating it in the first place.

Photo by Lomig on Unsplash