In Vino Veritas I

edition of 87
11.25″ h x 6.25″ w

In Vino Veritas Ido not invite me to your table
nor your sitting room
to fill my belly with feast
and wine

rather invite me to your
H o m e  and fill my heart
with the Truth of
kindred spirits entwined

In Vino Veritas
in wine there is truth
a taste of who we are
a familiar taste, lest we forget

In Vino Veritas I, crop to grapes and vinesbeyond the sweet
ripe taste of wine
lies Truth for which
all words defy

pour my glass
pour yours too
empty and fill your heart
and mine

shallow words
too thin for time
if anything at all is to be spoken
let it be in the Truth

In Vino Veritas I close up of leaves, vines and grapes

if not the Truth
why speak or be at all?
if not you and me
why anyone at all?

pour my glass
pour yours too
fill our souls
with Truth and Love

fill the glasses
for all the guests
of all the worlds
lest we forget we’re not alone

pour the glasses
yours as well
and celebrate
the infinite Truth
We are

Inspiration for In Vino Veritas I

In Vino Veritas I (In Wine there is Truth) was inspired from a delightful trip to the Californian Napa Valley several years ago. In retrospect, it seems quite fitting that not unlike wine itself, the inspirational seeds needed to age before the sculptural form would come to life.

The grapevine symbolizes the vine of life. This wine bearing fruit of the forest (Vitis Vinifera Sylvestris) is a warm and welcome addition to my ever-growing bronze forest. Both grapes and grapevines hold rich symbolic significance across many cultural and religious traditions. A common thread woven within the many diverse interpretations is that of deep community and a connection to an infinite Higher Realm. The Herder Dictionary of Symbols suggests wine as an elixir of life and potion of immortality among Semitic peoples, Greeks and Taoists. In the Christian tradition, grapes as wine represent the blood of Christ.

The grapevine requires both careful and aggressive pruning each winter to enable it to bear its best fruits the following summer. Too much or too little pruning can prove disastrous to the yield of good fruit. I wonder if it is not much the same for us.  Perhaps we too might bear our finest fruits after careful and sometimes aggressive seasonal pruning. Not unlike most trees, plants and flowers, the grapevine’s health and life depend upon attentive, deliberate and timely pruning – it is essential. For us to grow in Wisdom – to bear fruits of the spirit – it is essential. I reflected upon how I might more attentively prune my life of the excesses and past seasons’ debris– in material items, judgments, distractions, old wounds and illusions. I reflected upon how I might prepare and truly care for myself in anticipation of yet another miraculous and fruitful new season.

In all seasons, I believe in two types of truth: relative truth and Absolute Truth. Relative truth is to live in integrity, with perceived truth and often temporary fact. Absolute Truth is beyond our ability to describe or contain with any accuracy – it is a Truth equivalent to Oneness, Omnipotence or a Higher Presence or Power – an infinite Truth. It is a Truth that can be experienced yet not named. In Vino Veritas I points to Absolute Truth – a knowingness beyond relative truth – beyond words.

In Vino Veritas 1, close of up infinity symbol in vines & grapes

Much like the seasons of one’s life – the grapevine grows with countless curling tendrils. This tendency of ‘wrapping around’ reminded me of our life seasons; taking us in diverse directions while often playing a ‘next act’ to a much earlier season in unexpected ways. Earlier years often surprisingly, completely and beautifully entwine with later years. Most commonly the grapevine tendrils spiral in a circular manner. The circle symbolizes infinity mirroring our own immortality and Absolute Truth. The tendrils also frequently wrap themselves around another for support, and I reflected on how often we too need to ’wrap ourselves around another’ for support – especially when we are, not unlike the earnest spring grapevine, growing into a new season.

When we share in the fruits of the grapevine, we somehow mysteriously connect in a loving sense of community. Filling our glasses around the table, might we gather, celebrate, and like those circling tendrils, wrap our arms around each other in grace, support and acceptance. And, might we quiet our inner chatter allowing space to truly hear the Other. In doing so, we share not simply the wine; rather we share the Truth we are. The tactile world gently gives way to a much larger, loving and peaceful realm. We commune with ancient traditions in recognizing the symbolic power of the grapevine, its fruit and our infinite connection to one another in Absolute Truth.

The edition size of In Vino Veritas I is 87.  The number eight (8), viewed sideways, is the universal symbol of infinity. The number seven (7), a divine number of creative perfection, completes the edition size and is mirrored in the seven clusters of grapes encircling the girth of the vessel.  It is my hope for In Vino Veritas I to inspire the fertile bearing of rich, Truthful fruits in our lives.