Sake and Such

We have family visiting for a week, so our often dull routines have been replaced to a great extent with more interesting activities. Even sitting around the dining table with additional people, just talking, is a welcome change. A visit with family over a period of several days is like a reinvigorating retreat from much the rest of the world. National news is largely ignored for a while; its absence is an incredible stress reliever. For a while, at least, many of the day-to-day demands of life are put on “pause,” and the world seems to be not as demanding as usual. So many years have passed since I was living with a sizeable cluster of close blood relatives, that I cannot remember exactly what “family life” was like when surrounded by several people with whom I felt completely comfortable. But even with this small cadre of family, I think that is what “family life” in my youth must have felt that way. At least sometimes. My memories, though, are utterly unreliable, except when they are even sharper than high-resolution video with crystal clear sound. Is that clarity due to the memories’ fresh manufacture in my brain, or are certain circumstances so sharply etched into the mind that they seem to be occurring in real time?


Though I did not attend church on Sunday, I was pleased to see the video report that—close to the very last minute of the pledge drive and by the skin of our teeth—the congregation succeeded in meeting its pledge drive goal. That means we will not have to cut the budget; we will have the resources to accomplish our plans for the year. I have less than half a month left in my year as president of the church; I look forward to shedding that admittedly not-especially-stressful role. Who would have thought, ten years ago, that I would regularly attend a church and, even more surprisingly, be a member of the governing board? I am not quite ready to call it a miracle, but close.


A broken promise…of rain. Dark clouds and distant thunder offered false assurances that, soon, the sky would weep. Those meaningless pledges, as it turned out, were not worth the thin, vaporous clouds on which they were written with invisible ink. Often, promises made by the heavens shatter into pieces of jagged betrayal. The reason? Accountability…or lack thereof. No repercussions follow when the atmosphere reneges on its vow of spilling fierce winds and heavy rain and electric blue flashes in the air. If consequences followed such deceptions, indications of coming storms would become more reliable. It probably is past the point of no return now, though. No matter who or what tries, the sky will reject out of hand any attempts to exert control over it.  If humankind had taken actions as late at the 1930s, we might have had a chance to gain at least a shred of power over natural phenomena. But our failure to seize authority when the option was available means we can never have the power we want. Ach. Such a shame that such a golden opportunity was squandered.


White Lotus. A Thousand Cranes. Above the Fold. All three distinct products from Origami Sake are excellent, in my opinion, but White Lotus was my slight favorite from day-before-yesterday’s tour and tasting. Above the Fold has extremely limited availability (at the brewery only, I believe), but the other two increasingly are available in liquor stores in and around Arkansas. Origami also brews and bottles a few “test” brews that are available in extremely limited quantities only at the brewery. Origami Sake is Arkansas’ first (and, as of today, only) sake brewery. Located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the brewery prides itself on using natural water from an on-site well and Arkansas-grown rice to brew its sake. The recent brewery tour was interesting and educational; I had known virtually nothing about how sake is made until hearing Justin Potts, Director of Brewery Relations, describe the process and take a group of about ten on a tour of the facility. I was impressed with the complexity and sophistication of the operation. And the tastes reminded me that I enjoy sake.


I wish everyone in the world would allow their minds to be open to new ideas, conflicting philosophies, and divergent points of view. Wish. Wish. That accomplishes nothing. Then again, it might if properly employed in circumstances where opportunities have at least a shred of a chance.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.