One should always be drunk, that’s all that matters.
So as not to feel time’s horrible burden
that breaks your shoulders and bows you down,
you must get drunk without ceasing,
what with wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose.
But get drunk.
And if at some time on the steps of a palace,
or in the green grass of a ditch,
or in the bleak solitude of your room
you are waking up when drunkenness is already abated,
Ask the wind, a wave, the star, the bird, the clock,
all that which flees, all that which rolls,
all that which groans, all that which sings, all that which speaks,
ask them what time it is.
And the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply
“It is time to get drunk!
So that you may not be the martyred slaves of time, get drunk!
Get drunk and never pause for rest,
with wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose.”
The first time I heard that poem, I was sitting on the living room floor, listening to Dad's records. This one featured the Irish singing duo Makem and Clancy in concert. The passionate (and likely well-lubricated) reading done by Liam Clancy made for a nice segue into the lively reel "In the Town of Ballybay." But at that age, I had no idea what the words meant.
I do now. "Martyred slaves of time" ... We've become that, measuring our days and imprisoning ourselves in schedules, meetings and the like. Tied to our gadgets, so engrossed in tiny screens we forget to look up. Consumed by details, minutiae and pixels, we lose sight of the big picture until it grows dark.
Out with friends this evening, I quoted Baudelaire and realized, yet again, how "being drunk" was not necessarily about the (over) consumption of alcohol, but more about drinking in all that is true, and good, and fulfilling in life, for it is all too fleeting and precious to pass up.
A good wine for fleeting, precious moments:
Foreign Affair 2013 Enchanted (Niagara) - A luscious blend of sauvignon blanc and riesling done in the ripasso style, where wine is "re-passed" over the spent skins of dried grapes used in the appassimento method. Apricot, honey and fresh kitchen herbs on the nose, with a tangy palate that goes from tropical fruit to mint and back to honey. Medium body with a creamy, full finish.
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