“I’m a search-light soul they say, but I can’t see it in the night…”

by Katie Pizzuto on September 10, 2011

in Blogs,Cooking,Wine,Wine Writing

On Monday, August 29th I cried.

Then I fell on black days and shut down…so did my writing.

When Hurricane Irene hit Jersey we were pretty fortunate as these things go, getting no flooding or damage. All it did was leave us without power for nearly 4 days. So we packed up expensive perishables from the freezer and brought them to my in-laws’ house, and began living day-to-day, picking up only food for that night’s dinner, which was cooked on a gas stove or on the grill. When I found myself cooking in near darkness, aided only by the light of a few candles, I was inspired to write a post about it—about what it really means to cook with your senses when you are mostly without vision, relying on your sense of smell to know when garlic has gently browned, and relying on your hearing to know when the water is boiling and ready for pasta.

It was a great “gonzo” post, and it had been written by the glow of my quickly dying iPad and the click of my Bluetooth keyboard. But when I went to rename the file, I accidentally deleted it. And that’s when I began to cry without even knowing I wanted to cry. Tears flooded my tired eyes and splattered onto the keyboard as that first stage of grieving (denial) overwhelmed me. But there is no recovery on an iPad…no garbage can to rescue a file from…no mother-fucking pity for an accident at all. I went to bed that quiet night, and pretty much cried myself to sleep.

Losing a piece of visceral writing that comes spontaneously from the soul is not something that can be rewritten. I mean, sure, you can write the piece again and post something worthwhile, but at its core it will never carry the same weight because you are suddenly trying rather than writing. And so I began to shut down, not simply because I lost a piece of writing but because of a handful of other ongoing “life problems” as well. I haven’t written for weeks, and I wondered if anybody really gave a shit. We all know the wine blogging world is a fickle sort of junior prom, where readers come and go…even the more loyal ones. After a while, comments taper off, and even though subscribers may be reading my words, they aren’t engaging back—the conversation…the symbiotic relationship…withers.

I drank my wine peacefully every night, removing any intellectual interaction that would normally occur when I taste for the blog. I always drink for the soul, mind you, but I began drinking wine and beer completely for the soul with a sort of anarchistic disregard for the need to form an opinion on it. And I was damned happy to do it. But at the end of the day, the unmovable truth is that a writer writes. Every post here is pretty much the opening of a vein. It may be veiled in a sort of performance, but have no doubt that this is a sort of “blood letting” for me—a purge.

Do I want that community of readers back? Shit yeah. Do I want to silence the crickets with the clamor of debate and hilarity? No doubt. But I’m not sure I can get it back, and thus I’m left wondering if my words are mere amusement at this point, falling on deaf ears…or should I say on blind eyes and muted mouths. Huh. What an ironic sort of “full circle” I’ve come back to, haven’t I? Yammering about the senses.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 François September 10, 2011

Well, I’m still here and glad to see you’re okay, was a bit concerned with all the flooding going around! I guess writing is something you MUST do, not just a hobby. As for the phantom post, it certainly wasn’t done in vain…
About the community : I sure wish people would come together for other reasons than disaster. That’s why I find the beer community so fascinating, they’re the new punks!

Yr. gonzo pal

ps : nice photos. Had a Midas Touch for the first time last week, out of this world!

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2 Katie Pizzuto September 12, 2011

Thanks buddy, for the kind words and the support. And yeah, Midas Touch is a fave….they simply don’t make any bad brews…love them all. Esp. Theobroma!

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3 François September 14, 2011

I concentrated hard on Dogfish on the last trip, scored a bottle of Hellhound on my ale, a tribute to Robert Johnson. Also, planning another trip to NYC around Halloween and La Birreria is on my to-do list!

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4 Katie Pizzuto September 16, 2011

Didn’t know about the Robert Johnson one! Must track that down!!

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5 François September 16, 2011

It’s another collaboration with Columbia / Legacy. Bought it at Julio’s…

6 John Maher September 10, 2011

Hey, Katie, cosmic angst comes around in pretty much any field of activity – maybe it helps to keep us sane, or at least less bland or smug than we might be otherwise. Keep up the good work. I always click on your twitter links to your posts. I still say you should put them together in a book and bypass the gatekeepers. xxx

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7 Katie Pizzuto September 12, 2011

I think many readers would agree with you on the book. Perhaps it’s time to get off my sad ass and put my energy back into that 🙂

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8 Jeff Murphy September 10, 2011

I think every writer who post only on a blog crosses this bridge of crickets and apparent solitude. I’ve done it more than once and I only barely consider myself a writer because I’m too lazy to try and write when I can tune out for a half-hour of television before falling asleep at 10 o’clock. When I do write, though, even though I say I write for myself, posting it in a public forum and hoping REALLY, REALLY hard for discussion or feedback kind of betrays the “for myself” sentiment. But we’ll keep writing. We’ll keep writing because writers write.

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9 PintofStout September 12, 2011

That was me, BTW. I continue to come here because the writing is top notch and I love to listen to people talk passionately about the stuff they are passionate about, regardless of topic.

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10 Katie Pizzuto September 12, 2011

I can so easily fall into that slump of tuning out in front of the tube and falling asleep by 10. Sometimes it’s that whole “fuck it” mentality that creeps in, and keeps you from doing what you love. As Jeff says, no matter how much we say we write for ourselves (and of course we do…it is therapy) the truth is that we write for the reader. I write to evoke response, for better or worse, and that’s why sometimes the crickets really really suck, LMAO. But at least I know your ears are still pressed to the wall.

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11 coupe 60 September 14, 2011

Wait – you stopped writing for a while?

Katie – no exaggeration…your blog is the only one I read on any subject matter…

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12 Katie Pizzuto September 16, 2011

Then i better expand topics if i want well-rounded readers 😉

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13 coupe 60 September 19, 2011

If I don’t start exercising again, I will be sufficiently well rounded…

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