“What do you feel is wanting to transform within yourself”*
“The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is … that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”**
‘Whisky spirit enters the cask as a clear liquid and takes its colour from the wood, and more than two thirds of the flavour will come from the oak.’^
I think I may want to be changed in those things that will allow me to be more creative, generous, and enjoying of life. Not only to see and know more, not even to feel more, but to do more.
Whisky lover Dominic Roskrow writes about how distillers ignore or reject the volatile alcohols at the beginning of a distillation run, and also the weak and bad tasting end of the run. It’s the middle “cut” that will be stored and matured. Thinking about how we like beginning things and finishing things but aren’t too keen of what comes in between, Roskrow catches my attention when he tells of how two identical casks can be filled with the identical spirit, sit side-by-side for the same amount of time and, yet, produce different whiskies because of the many smaller influences.
It’s another middle of the process experience. Slowly, the ability of the alcohol to interact with its complex environment produces a unique whisky. I think it’s the same for us, between the high volatility of beginning new things and the weak ending (when we are often underwhelmed, between the pouring of the spirit into its unique environment and it being fully matured, there is the promise of something unique taking place in us when we are prepared to enter into the slow journey involving the places and people and experiences of our lives.
‘[The Miser] remains old and indifferent to the joys and sorrows of others, even his own … the memory of past feelings or experiences is the only form in which he is in touch with his own experiences.’^^
(*From U.Lab Portobello.)
(**Friedrich Nietzsche, quoted in Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience,)
(^Dominic Roskrow, from 1001 Whiskies You Must Try Before You Die.)
(^^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Being.)