I can’t write much about this picture. I have been really lucky to meet some great people to hang out with since I left England, and the California coast is an amazing place to hang out. The perfect combination seems to be friends, location, and having dinner together.
Here is a poem by Don Blanding from his 1948 book “Mostly California”:
The sunset’s azure cloth is richly stained
With ardent wines as though the day-gods drained
The casks of Life, then lifting goblets high
Shattered their brimming goblets on the sky,
A great defiant gesture of farewell,
A pagan rite so splendid that its spell
Enchants the watchers who, each in his way,
Shares the libation to departing day,
Drinking through mortal eyes the god-wine spilled
And goes his way with thirsting heart fulfilled.
The happy watchers choose from sunset wines
Bright Burgundies distilled from magic vines;
They see confetti cloudlets through a rift
Of darker clouds like restless flakes that drift
In Goldenwasser and they taste this Midas gold,
Or sip the bright champagnes of light that hold
Bubbles of laughter, froths of mirth that float,
Sufficient wine to please the shallow throat.
Drunken with color, warm with joy they go
Leaving the sad dark dregs of afterglow.
The lonely ones who watch the sea at dusk
Choose the harsh flavor of the briny musk
Brewed of long shadows, chilled in wind and mist.
They know, these hearts of drought that sorrow kissed
How this long somber hour of dusk discloses
The sweetness of the Wine of Bitter Roses
They seek the subtler flame, the hidden savor.
With masochistic joy they taste the flavor
Of secret tears, the saline hint of blood.
The lotus flower rooted in the mud
Yields a liquor they crave, an anodyne
For aftermath of too much love, a wine
Fragrant with sad nostalgia’s dark bouquet.
For them the absinthe rather than tokay.
Elusive flavors teasing the tongue
With haunting aftertaste like songs once sung
And half-forgotten, haunting the sick heart.
They are secret drinkers, drawn apart.
They know that thirst deep-smouldering in the mind
Is heart-blood of the wine. They seek to find,
Like the mystic suppliant who begs
For crusts . . . realities among the dregs.