The Coach and the Freshman – lessons in life.

 

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Unaware of the professional aspect of this game, I had played recklessly as a child, adolescent, teenager and young adult.  Walking down King Blvd to the liquor store – ironically named Sunshine Market in one of the darkest areas of the city.  Enquiring those older than me to assist with getting my equipment.  Midnight walks through my new neighborhood with my closest friend, bottles bats and gloves in hand – always playing.   At Temple, off-campus, religiously at the state store, preparing for the weekends.

 

Always used as an escape from reality, any excuse would be suffice to hit the field, have a good time and play.  My father took this route after playing in the minor league, hurt his knee and retired into this lifestyle.  My environment dictated that I would perpetuate this cycle.

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I’ve watched players before me, ushered onto the field, with various social titles, well-dressed and groomed, relished by their own cheerleaders,  only to have these same fans abandon them during their slumps; bodies worn out, retired, well past their prime from abuse trying to get back on their feet through anonymous programs.

It took decades for me to realize this was a professional industry, I turned to that channel by accident.  Realizing I had been playing this game, after several doubts and hesitation, I decided to go for try-outs to secure a spot on the varsity team, taking my name from one box with a glass ceiling and placing it in another which was as vast as the fields and vineyards on earth, only restricted by my own abilities.

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I entered this athletic program about two years ago, thinking that the third season would be my final before retirement, changing focus and starting again.  The coach, articulate, yet humble, provided me with a different perspective on the same game.  The same game, that I’ve always known, with an altered view of the field, the equipment, the rules and the players.

 

His role, inspiration that lead to motivation, unlike others is humbly whispered from experience – a participant, a student always learning – instructor – teacher – Master of his craft, the Wine.

Understanding that this league is much different than where I came from – empty lots, broken glass, tattered fields surrounded by concrete, sprayed with numbers and names marking the potential of those that came before, with and after me.  An uneven playing field where we always practiced with the cheapest makeshift equipment, due to our ignorance and lack of foresight into the outside world.

 

A lottery that permits an unlimited number of tickets to be registered and entered by a single player, whereas improvement to gain an edge is permitted and commonly accepted.  Eventually hoping to be selected, the honor of having a jersey with my name – a representation of the niche within a sub-group in which I aspire to belong.  Not entering the hall of fame among the masses, but bringing the knowledge to the common man; the peoples champ, one with an ability to diversify and widen the game, bringing in more spectators and participants into every level.

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Dedicated to the unknown, even if it meant just remaining at the far end of the bench, and honor to be in the presence of greatness, ill soak up as much knowledge as I can from reading play books, videos and observations.

 

 

Looking at the scrimmage lineup, practice jerseys on the field.  An all-star team at the summer camp during the off-season, before the pre-season, displaying their best talent, trying to their names known amongst the media.

 

I sit, eyes wide, determining my best approach, trying to familiarize myself with the field, the scent of dew on freshly cut grass, chocolate / toffee brown powdered dirt, and the wood that constitutes the composure of the bat. Reflecting on the past, my pallet tainted from years of liver turning hard working abuse.

Actions demonstrate better than books, however, the play book assists in giving me the technical knowledge to manifest my own routes…understanding the rules, I’ve created my own game. Time to take the bruises and failures that are bound to occur in the big league during each game on the way to my ultimate goal.  Time to lace up and prepare to enter the arena.

 

A former student that inspired, instructed, taught, and eventually mastered the skill set of the selected few.  Thank you MP, MW

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TWA -Advanced Tasting Class, conducted by M.P. MW – in preparation for the J-Presence WSET diploma course – Unit 1 the following week

Robert Mondavi Vineyard – The Tree & The Sun

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In a state of depression so deep that my soul hurts, knowing that my spirit is breaking.  Fatigued, exhausted and worn out from merely existing – the monastic existence called life, struggling to live.   My own elements tearing at one another, diseased – a virus feasting on a physically healthy host from within.

 

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Dark clouds blocking the horizon, albeit, it is known that there is a horizon that has yet to be seen.  Not faith but rather, self-manifestation of a non-existent reality.  Looking forward, looking back, then looking forward again – a vine, a noose a playground – swinging…cautious steps in crossing the street, looking forward, never forgetting to look back.  Reflections from the future, timeless traveling – from tomorrow, living in the best years today, yet feeling as if they are the worst.

 

Depression – a sensation that has contributed to creating the most beautiful forms of art throughout modern history.  A sensation that every human incurs, yet is never embraced.  An intricate unwanted portion of life, in its absence, we  would never truly know or have value.  An internal struggle that enhances endurance and mental stamina.  Uniquely triggered, and consequently uniquely resolved, unlike an ailment, internalized, masked, never to be seen by outsiders.

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Fiat currency, milled from the yet to develop leaves of a still young trunk – the Mastodon xylem tissue.  When the foundation is solid, the branches will spread, the leaves will come into their own, the fruit will blossom, eventually departing to create their own.  Then the soil will be nourishing, but the tree will not be as it once was from the beginning.

Unrealistically searching for a chemical solution, I found myself staring at empty bottles, consumed with locating the Djin – a spirit that could give me three wishes.

Yet never pondering what these wishes would be:

Aspirations for wealth?  Although I had never defined wealth.  Eternal life?  Yet I had never defined what form of life it would be, an existence in the scientific age: cloned, artificially birthed, alloy implanted? or Traditionally Timeless: books, poetry, art, sculptures or writing.  The latter, novels, chapters and pages, full with you…and them.

Perhaps the depression is rooted in the unknown, and being human, all is unknown, therefore the depression will never truly dissipate.  I find joy in the essence of those that contain my heart, under The Sun, shaded by The Tree.

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Robert Mondavi Vineyard – Napa Valley, California

King Block Dean (ElSinSey)

Hakushu Distillery – The Rising Sun Blinded Eyes

 

 

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The Lochness Monster crossed the Pacific, and arrived a the port gates of the empire with hunger in its eyes.  Desperate for the spices, minerals and resources that were being donated to the western world in minuscule quantities.   Metal scales accented by red, white and blue war paint, with cannons breathing fire – pure display of aggression.  The time for diplomacy with an uncivil beast had long past, like the Chinese Nian, it became restless, ready for blood.  The conquistadors’ inherited nature had resurfaced in the form of the final beast, the biggest fish, feeling entitled to all that dwells on this natural orb.

Culture versus culture, civilizations at odds – Samurai, Judo and Sumo an  with their primitively perfected arts couldn’t parallel the mystical sorcery that had been continuously improved through tribulations entrenched in passion for expansion rooted in war.  In recognition, the gates were opened and the world pillaged.

 

Creating 4-Rs to replace the 4-Ps of marketing.   Rearranging there approach, Reinventing their production process, Resting the sleeping giant, powered by Retribution were the drivers behind the economic progress of the 20th century.

In this, the land of the rising sun’s polarization of GDP occurred within 3 generations.  The intense burning of the red rising sun shone so bright it turned its surrounding inot white embers – blinding the world, humbly forcing its traditions and mechanical approach into every corner of the earth, now demanding respect and admiration from those that once threatened its very existence.

 

Targeting the interior of the beast, overtaking one organ at a time, industry after industry, allowing the shell to remain, yet making the circuitry and wiring and motherboard its own.

 

That Lochness, once hungry for the spices, minerals and resources, is now desperate to drink from the ambrosia that its own greed and tyranny created.

 

The land of the rising sun, from one perspective the far east, a new dawn – beginning.  From the opposition, the extreme west, the setting, dusk, evening – ending of an era.

 

Hakushu Distillery about 3 hours outside of Tokyo by train then 10 minutes by taxi….literally built in the middle of a forest at the base of a mountain that provides its water source.  Of the two Suntory, by far the best distillery in terms of mechanization, tours and environment.

King Block Dean (El.Sin.Say)

Johnnie Walker Gold – Reincarnation, The Celebration of Death

 

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Spring – the first quarter,  green – climate shift,  blossom –  a dormant awakening,  birth – new realms, reincarnation – the transition from dormant REM to lucid dreams permitting the skin to be exponentially exposed to the elements once again.

 

Spring – signified by the demeaning plagiarization of the fertility goddess Ishtar – reduced to eggs, candy and rabbits in the West, while maintaining homage to the ancestors that perished by the sabers of the Nian through lunar cycles in the East recognized as New Year.  Gregorian calendars and constructed prototypes measuring time can not enhance the unstable beauty of this season, the natural metamorphosis in which birth occurs.

Spring – the mortal cycle of birth and death that remains uninterrupted, paralleled to a circumference of a sphere, circular, eternal, earth – wheels of a machine, propelling nature forward – balance.

 

Visual illustrations of mathematic equations represented in geometrical shapes, producing symmetry, harmony – the metamorphosis of reincarnation.

This year, standing at the gates sketching illustrations prematurely…illusions of the things yet to manifest themselves on the other side, based on my previous experiences.  The percussion instruments to the right of the body’s entrance, ambrosia, nectar of the gods – spirits, to the left.

 

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Astonished, a ceremony to usher in a glamorized bottle touched by King   himself, while subtly, an aged old- time tested hero, was being relinquished to exile.  Exit 18 year age statement – Enter NAS Reserve.

 

The annual Breeze Center gala – Taipei / Taiwan – 2015

King Block Dean (El.Sen.Say)