This is a story about Twitter, and poetry, and a movie. And how the human mind works.
Based in Tennessee, Randy Elrod is a speaker, consultant, chef, wine connoisseur, artist and general all-around culture creator. Last Saturday, he and some friends were concluding a Napa Valley winery tour. He had been tweeting the tour and posting pictures on Twitpic, inspiring the grand old sin of envy in any of us who had been following his progress. He posted a photo of a special bottle of wine – a 1973 California Chardonnay that changed the course of the wine industry and wine history. And he pointed out that this was the wine that was featured in the movie “Bottle Shock.”
My wife and I had seen that movie and enjoyed it. I retweeted Randy’s comment with the photo. L.L. Barkat saw my retweet and said she loved that movie. And then Shrinking the Camel chimed in – he had seen it and liked it as well.
And here’s what developed. “Recreate” is Randy’s Twitter name.
recreate http://twitpic.com/gl3oo - If you've seen the movie "Bottle Shock," this is the bottle that changed the world
gyoung9751: Cool movie RT @recreate: http://twitpic.com/gl3oo - If you've seen the movie "Bottle Shock" this is the bottle that changed the world
llbarkat: @gyoung9751 I LOVED that movie 'Bottle Shock.'
shrinkingcamel: Me Too! Saw a couple wks ago. RT @llbarkat: @gyoung9751 I LOVED that movie 'Bottle Shock.'
gyoung9751: Like minds? RT @shrinkingcamel: Me Too! RT @llbarkat: @gyoung9751 I LOVED that movie 'Bottle Shock.'
llbarkat: Okay @shrinkingcamel and @gyoung9751 this feels like a party now. :)
gyoung9751: It does indeed. Camel should write a poem. RT @llbarkat: Okay @shrinkingcamel and @gyoung9751 this feels like a party now. :)
shrinkingcamel: On the phone for 2.5 hours so far with Dell OnCall helping fix a computer bug. I planned 4 hours. Helps to plan for the worst. Almost done!
shrinkingcamel: A poem? While I'm on the line with Dell? And Tweeting? That's way too much multi-tasking. (Plus I'm making a sandwich)
gyoung9751: Camel's too slow For @llbarkat & @shrinkingcamel Flickering screen/Reflecting/Golden liquids;/Binding friends/Not met but real.
shrinkingcamel: @gyoung9751 @llbarkat AMAZING. Flickering screen/Reflecting/Golden liquids;/Binding friends/Not met but real.
llbarkat: RE: Camel's too slow for @llbarkat . Okay @gyoung9751 and @shrinkingcamel , you two officially inspired next week's RAP. :)
gyoung9751: @llbarkat & @shrinkingcamel Sounds like young and camel will be singing a RAP song about Chardonnay. Signing off.
llbarkat: @gyoung9751 @shrinkingcamel Sounds like young and camel will be singing a RAP song about Chardonnay. Signing off.<<<> wait and see.
A “RAP” is a Random Act of Poetry, a weekly feature on The High Calling Blogs that’s written and managed by L.L. And she was true to her word (or threat) – our exchange helped inspire the RAP article posted yesterday on how people bind together after tragedies like 9/11. And then, in the comments, RAP participants spontaneously began writing poems. Here is the column and the comments.
The fun thing is – shrinkingcamel got bit by the poetry bug. "Shrinking the Camel" is the name of a blog on faith in the workplace. Shrinkingcamel is the Twitter name. The person who does the blog and the Twitter account goes by a pseudonym; all we know is that he’s a business executive who lives in the northeastern United States. There is a real name somewhere behind the curtain (or underneath the camel). I keep things simple by referring to him as Camel.
So a photo of a bottle of wine connected three online friends to a movie, inspired a short poem, produced a column on poetry and 9/11 AND led to a camel writing poetry. Only on Twitter. Incredible. And our thanks to Randy Elrod for (unknowingly) setting the whole thing in motion.
My poem, as composed on Twitter and recomposed by L.L. Barkat for the RAP:
For @llbarkat and @shrinkingcamel
Not met but real.
– by @gyoung9751, while drinking Chardonnay
L.L. added the Chardonnay bit. I wasn’t drinking Chardonnay when I wrote it, but what the heck, it sounds like I should have been.
Photo ©Randy Elrod, Sept. 5, 2009. Used with permission.