I do some of my best “writing” in the middle of the night. In those quiet moments, my mind stirs while others sleep. Maybe it is the quiet. Maybe it is the half-conscious mind, free to roam. Tumbling around, thoughts and ideas seem both foggy and clear, vague and precise. I find an angle, a ribbon to tie it together, a theme upon which to build.
Sometimes in the morning, the idea is still there and solid, sometimes it fades with the light, and other times it is revealed to be not the cohesive profundity I’d imagined. And sometimes it dangles between all of those outcomes. I can’t quite let go of the idea, it is there somewhere, but I can’t quite pull it together.
Yesterday was my anniversary. So between the hours of 4-6am, marriage was on my mind. And rocks. One after another, the analogies and word pictures came to me. I was sure that I would wake up and start writing about rocks. But when you haven’t slept well, creativity can come slowly. Instead of writing about rocks, my legs felt strapped to them, my mind felt full of them, and I had nothing to write.
But, a good glass of wine can help you find renewed inspiration. And as my husband and I sat on the patio of Winebelly, a great new wine bar and tapas place in South Austin, I decided that I would toss out a few pebbles of wisdom (?), gratitude, and wine recs whether or not the theme “worked.”
My marriage began with a rock. With great planning and fanfare, he placed a rock on my finger and asked me to be his. Our home, built upon and with rocks(or a derivative) has been the place where we’ve tried to build something of value. I’ve carried rocks. Rocks of resentment and anger, until they become so heavy I have no choice but to put them down. He has scaled the same boulder, day after day. Building a business to support our family as I rocked our babies to sleep.
We’ve thrown stones, words that hurt and scar. We’ve collected stones of beauty and skipped them from the shore. We’ve climbed together, mountains that were both literal and figurative. Sometimes he’d carry the weight, sometimes I would. But there is usually something beautiful at the top.
What do we get from rocks? Minerals. And what wine inspired me? A great mineral-driven, citrusy, Sancerre with well-integrated acid. (Like that segue?) Chateau de Sancerre from the Loire Valley to be specific. He ordered the special, scallops over a coconut risotto cake with red curry and apple-mango slaw. He loved it. I can’t vouch for it, obviously, but it looked delicious! We also shared the roasted asparagus with wild mushrooms, soft poached egg, shaved parm and smoked aioli. Amazing. I’m going to try to replicate it for Easter. The pairing worked. I’m sure there are wines that would have worked better, but we were going by the glass and wanted to have the same. It is a wine I will be seeking out.
For the second round we ordered Fried Quail legs with roasted pear, arugula and black pepper honey. For the third round we had the Brick chicken with herbed spaetzle, grilled raddichio and crispy shallots. To work with both we Proyecto de Espana Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo which was poured from a bottle with one of the prettiest labels I’ve seen. Medium bodied, subtle tannins, great fruit with some earth and acid. Really food friendly and a great story. The service was great. Well informed, friendly, casual. (Thanks, Scott and David!) It was a great evening and we will be back soon.
As we sat down, the light was just as it had been when we had our first dance. It was to the Madeleine Peyroux version of a Leonard Cohen song, “Dance Me to the End of Love.” We could not have know what was coming, how love changes and changes you. We could not have known about the rocky roads and the everyday triumphs. But we held on tight and climbed. Thanks for sticking with me. Thanks for always looking ahead. Thank you for being MY rock through all of the crazy. Happy Anniversary!